Dancers



EDT dancers have collectively and individually studied with renowned choreographers from around the world, including Peter Iliev (Bulgaria), Tiang Jiang Cui (China), Nicolas Petrish (Croatia), Frantisek Bonus (Czech Republic), Jacek Marek (Poland) and Sherap Wangmo (Tibet).
Many of EDT's dancers have received professional training throughout their lives; some have advanced degrees in dance; and others' talents were fashioned while dancing in the ensembles of various ethnic communities.


EDT has always been fortunate to have performers trained and steeped in the various ethnic dance and music traditions represented in our shows, including but not limited to: Mexican, Ukrainian, Latvian, Bosnian, Hungarian, Czech/Bohemian, Bulgarian, German, Scandinvian, Arabian, Chinese, Indian, and more.

Krissy Chepp

Krissy is making her debut with EDT this season.  Following in her mother's lead, she began folk dancing at the age of 9 with the Tatra Slovak Dancers of Milwaukee.  Her experience with the Tatras included traveling across the Midwest and Slovakia to perform in different festivals as part of the children and teen groups.

In 2014, she joined the Lipa Slovak Dancers in Minneapolis as well as started ballet lessons at the University of Minnesota.  She continues to dance with Lipa and assist in its choreography.

After graduating from the University of Minnesota, Krissy entered the legal field and has worked in multiple areas and facets of the law.  When she isn't dancing, Krissy can be found researching and hosting trivia, dog-sitting, and checking out local festivals and events around the Cities.

Alex Dimitrov

Alex, of Bulgarian heritage, is from Edina, MN and is in his first season with EDT. Prior to joining the ensemble, he was a member of the Bulgarian folk dance group based in St. Paul, MN. In addition to dance, Alex is very skilled in Taekwondo.  He has been practicing for 14 years and currently holds a second degree black belt.

Alex is a freshman at the University of MN.  He is pursuing a double major in Economics and Finance.  In his free time, he loves to play basketball and going to Gophers basketball games.  He also likes to read mystery and adventure books.  Alex is well traveled.  He has enjoyed visiting Italy, the Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Mexico, Canada, and Bulgaria.

Rachel Hames

Rachel began dancing in early 2014 by taking classes with St. Paul Ballet and joined the Vidéki Hungarian Dancers a month later. She then joined Ethnic Dance Theatre in 2016, just a few months before her debut in Grasslands. When Rachel is not dancing, she works at Minnesota Oncology and enjoys hockey, reading, sewing, and various outdoor activities.

Alina Jambor

Alina started dancing at the age of three doing tap, jazz, and ballet at a local studio in Brooklyn Park, MN, but didn’t realize what she was missing until she joined local children’s Polish folk dance group, Słoneczniki, at the age of five. Since then, she hasn’t stopped polkaing.

As Minnesota native with Polish roots, Alina’s family was very involved in the local Polonia growing up. Since dancing with Słoneczniki, Alina has progressed through the Polish teen group, Chabry, and now dances with the Dolina Polish Folk Dancers. With Dolina, Alina has traveled and performed all across the Midwest, Canada, Hungary, and Poland. In 2014 Alina began attending 4-letnie Polonijne Studium Choregraficzne, a four year choreographer’s course in Rzeszów, Poland. She has since graduated and is now teaching, directing, and choreographing for the Dolina Family and EDT.

Alina joined Ethnic Dance Theatre before her senior year of high school in 2012. Alina has loved growing as a dancer through EDT by broadening her folky horizons from Poland to more of Europe, the Americas, Asia, and the Middle East. She never wants to stop doing what she loves, and wants to share that passion with the world.

Kathryn Korchak

Kathryn has been a company member of EDT since 2015; her first show was Grasslands. She has been a board member for EDT since 2017.

She began her dance training with the Minnesota Ballet, studying ballet, tap, jazz, modern, and Russian dance. She danced with the Bulgarian Folk Ensemble Otets Paissii and the Ukrainian group Kyiv, both in Pittsburgh, PA, before becoming a member of the Duquesne University folk ensemble Tamburitzans. Post undergrad, Kathryn was a Fulbright recipient and lived and worked in Slovakia. She completed her MA in International Leadership and Public Policy from the University of St. Thomas in 2017.

She at KRW International in accounting. In her spare time, she enjoys camping, biking, attending concerts and traveling with her husband and daughter.

 

Kostiantyn Korchak

Kostiantyn, a native of Hnivan, Ukraine, has been with EDT since fall of 2017. He completed his degree from VNAU in 2014 in Agricultural Mechanization. In Ukraine, Kostiantyn was an active boxer starting at the age of 13 and continued to do so at his university. While he has had no formal folk dance training, he decided to take on the challenge after watching the Land of Legends show.  In his first season, he performed in Milwaukee, WI at the International Festival and at Verea Festival in Chicago, IL. Kostiantyn is union carpenter and a member of UBC Local 322. In his free time he enjoys hiking, camping, biking, skiing, and staying active with his wife and daughter.

Matt LaCourse

Matthew began dancing with Ethnic Dance Theatre in the debut production of The Nutcracker, in 2003, joining the cast full-time in 2006 as part of the initial run of Beyond the Crescent Moon. He has been an active member of the Austrian and Bavarian dance group, Schuplattler Gruppe Edelweiss, since the age of two, and has been the male dancing leader of S.G. Edelweiss since 2013.

 

Jaromir Luiken

Jaromir (Jarek) joined EDT in 2018. His previous folk dance experience is with the Dolina Polish Folk Dance group with whom he still dances and sings in the choir. Jarek has a bachelor's degree in music performance from Hamline University and is currently learning accordion with a current interest in studying the folk music of the north-eastern Carpathian regions.

James Metcalf

James joined EDT in 2015. He has been involved with the Sokol Hall in St. Paul since he was four years old, having danced with both Tanecni Mladez and Tanecni Teens before joining the St. Paul Czech and Slovak Folk Dancers.

 

Frances Olson

Frances Olson-Borgerding joined EDT in 2018. She is a recent graduate of St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN, where she completed a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance degree. Prior to joining the company, Frances studied ballet at the Minnesota Dance Theater (MDT) and the Academy of Russian Ballet, and performed with the Vasa Junior Swedish Folk Dancers, Svikt, and Veselica, St. Olaf's international dance ensemble. When she isn't dancing, Frances works as a freelance pianist and fiddler, and plans to go back to school for piano and ethnomusicology in the near future.

Victoria Piorek-Nett

Tori has been dancing with EDT since the 2006 season, debuting as Clara in The Nutcracker that year, then joining full-time for the second run of Beyond the Crescent Moon later that year. She has been dancing with Dolina Polish Folk Dance Ensemble as an adult since 1997. She has also been a member of S.G. Edelweiss since 2014.

Olesia Sarazhynskyy

Olesia started dancing with EDT in 2018 and is extremely excited to make her debut this year. She is Ukrainian-American and loves being an active participant in the Minnesota Ukrainian Community. Olesia danced with Cheremosh Ukrainian Dance ensemble since she was five, getting most of her dance training form there. Currently Olesia is getting ready to enter high school. In her free time she enjoys going camping, skiing, and playing tennis. She also enjoys spending time with her family and friends and reading.

Tiffany Senkow

Tiffany Senkow is a Ph.D. Candidate studying Biomedical Engineering at the University of Minnesota.  She has been involved with ethnic dance from a very young age in several junior tamburitzan groups in Pittsburgh, PA.  In college, she was in the Penn State International Dance Ensemble.  Her first show with EDT was Grasslands.  In addition to dancing, Tiffany plays the Serbo-Croatian tambura (prim and brač) and plays an antique Italian mandolin in the Minnesota Mandolin Orchestra.  Her hobbies (other than music and dance) include calligraphy and playing board games.

Dunja Sher

Dunja made her show debut in the 2017 production of Land of Legends. Prior joining EDT and moving to United States, Dunja was part of Croatian folklore group “KUD  Anka Ospuh” for 15 years. She was active board member,  performed  in adult ensemble, choir group “Pajdasice” and was directing children’s group ages  4-10.  She participated in several international festivals across Europe. 

When not on the dance floor, Dunja spends time with her husband, travels and plays tennis.

Anastasia Verdoljak

Anastasia Verdoljak (Stasia) started dancing with the company in the fall of 2014, since performing in shows such as Mountain Memories, Grasslands and Land of Legends. She studied with the Minnesota Ballet while growing up in Duluth, MN. When she moved to the Twin Cities, she ushered for several EDT shows which inspired her to join the cast. Her endeavors have been in the arts, justice and education, including teaching string ensemble since 2011 at City of Lakes Waldorf School in Minneapolis and obtaining her M.A. in Education in 2017.

 

Kjersti Vevle

Kjersti has been with Ethnic Dance Theatre since the 2004 season, debuting in the original production of The Nutcracker, as well as the 30th Anniversary concert that following spring. Kjersti studied ballet and modern dance performance and choreography at St. Olaf College, where she guest performed in Veselica, the folk dance ensemble run by longtime EDT member Anne Wharton.

 

 

Maria Alejandra Zivkovich

Maria Alejandra began her formal dance training studying ballet, modern, and jazz at Minnetonka Dance Theater and School, where she also performed as part of the Youth Ballet Company. She continued her ballet training at Academy of Russian Ballet (now the Minnesota Ballet School).

Maria Alejandra‘s traditional dance training began when she was very young. She has performed with Corazon Latino, Colombia Live!, and Fuego Latino. She is stepping out into other traditions by currently dancing with S.G. Edelweiss and Dolina Polish Dancers. Maria Alejandra is honored to be in her second season with Ethnic Dance Theatre.