Gwen Hanke (nee Andruik)

Favorite Memory

So many years, so many memories and so difficult to narrow it to one.

Here it is…

Inspired by her passion and love for dance and deep-rooted ties to the Ukrainian culture, and drawing from her experiences as an educator, knowledgeable instructor and respected adjudicator, Gwen founded the Veeteretz Ukrainian Dance Festival (VUDF) in 2005. This year, “VUDF” celebrates fifteen years and remains focused on and dedicated to providing aspiring Ukrainian dancers with a positive, learning environment. It is the first Alberta Ukrainian dance festival to offer acknowledgement awards for BEST CHOREOGRAPHY, MOST PROMISING AND OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE at each adjudication session to recognize a greater number of training and performance efforts.  The inclusion of these awards by other rural festivals supports VUDF’s strong held beliefs and forward thinking practices.  Differences in dance programs and training opportunities, has also prompted Veeteretz to be the first festival to create a division/tier entry structure in the name of fairness. In doing so, dancers are then adjudicated with and compared to those with similar training and experience.  This levels the playing field.

Dance schools

Veeteretz School of Ukrainian Dance Association
Shumka School of Dance
Gibbons Vaseli Dancers

Instructor’s First Dance Teacher at “School/ Location/ Year”

Betty Kisilevich 1965