History of Toronto Slovak Dancers
The Toronto Slovak Dancers is an ensemble
which study the cultural heritage of its native
Slovakia and present it to our multicultural
North American society.
Originally the TSD was organized as a ballroom
dance group and participated for two years in
numerous ballroom junior competitions and shows.
With the arrival of folklore choreographer J.
Jantoska to Toronto, on April 6, 1985 the dance
group had diversified to folk dancing with senior
and junior groups.
Following the departure of J. Jantoska in 1987,
the group was trained for two years by P. Sirak,
a professional Slovak folklore choreographer. His
skills created nine new dances which made the
ensemble able to perform over two hour shows.
J. Jantoska returned in 1990 and enriched the
repertoire with four new dances which include
"Horehronska Veselica, Cerkany, Perinarky
Janosik and Veselica na Detve".
Through its dances, the ensemble has laid a great
deal of importance upon the intimate knowledge of
the folk character of the given region, and the
development of individual abilities of all the
members. By choosing music from different regions
of Slovakia, the ensemble's repertoire
demonstrates the beauty and variety of Slovak
As news about ensemble had spread, so did the
invitations requesting the group to participate
in various North American cities such as Windsor,
Markham, St. Catherines, Cambridge, Bradford,
Welland, Hamilton, Oshawa and Ottawa in Ontario
and in Beauport and Montreal in Quebec, Calgary
and Edmonton in Alberta and Winnipeg in Manitoba.
In the U.S.A. the list of cities performed in
include Detroit, Chicago, Elmhurst Illinois,
Mount Pocono and New Jersey. One of the
highlights for the ensemble were performances at
The American Stage at Epcot Center, in Walt
Disney World, Lutheran Haven and the Slovak
Gardens in Orlando Florida.
The 1991 was especially busy,
outside the annual shows in Canada, the group had
toured native Slovakia for 16 days with seven
performances in different cities. Also the same
year they traveled to the Garden State Arts
Center in Jersey City where they performed a 2
1/2 hour show at the Slovak Heritage Festival.
The year 1992 was marked in the history of
Toronto Slovak Dancers as a very important year.
The first big accomplishment was mastering a very
physically strenuous dance called
"Janosik". The young dancers proved,
that they have matured into very skilled
performers able to acquire and present a very
challenging choreography. The second great
accomplishment that year was to celebrate group's
150th performance on the popular TV show run by
City TV in Toronto called "Breakfast
Television", which since then has become an
The year 1993 started with a performance in a
program with famous Slovak Tenor Miroslav
Dvorsky, celebrating the Proclamation of the
independence of the Slovak Republic. The year
continued with performances at various ethnic
activities across Ontario and a trip out west to
Edmonton for an international folklore festival
and to Calgary for a Slovak Canadian Youth
In 1994 both senior and junior groups of the
ensemble entered and won first places in Kiwanis
The year 1995 marked the 10th anniversary which
was celebrated with a special program with
special guests from Slovakia of Julius Pantik,
Darinka Lasciakova, Vladimir Dobrik and Milan
Jesko. The same program was repeated in Welland
and Windsor. With annual performances in Southern
Ontario, until today, group has performed 215
times since its inception in 1985.
In 1996 the ensemble is preparing to travel to
Slovakia for the international folk festival in
Dubnica nad Vahom.
With their eagerness and willingness to continue
to work hard, it is hoped that the group will
continue to be a good ambassador of the Slovak
fork-art in Canada in the years to come.
The dance ensemble was established and managed
throughout the years by Mr. Milan Popik
Events in 1996
23, 1996 - Slovak Day Celebration - Slovak
Benefit Society, Credit Vale Park on Barbertown
June 24, 1996 - Sick Children Fund Raiser -
Embassy Suite Hotel, Warden & HW 7 at 8:30 PM
July 14, 1996 - Youth Festival and Slovak Day -
Canadian Slovak League, Creditvale Park at 2:30
July 28, 1996 - Jednota Day - Creditvale Park,
Aug 20 - 29, 1996 Slovakia - Surany, Slovenska
Lupca, Piestany, Bratislava (See Local Paper for
August 29 - Sept 1, 1996 - Slovakia - 3rd
International Festival in Dubnica nad Vahom.
Toronto Slovak Dancers in Slovakia - Aug. 29 -
Sept. 1, 1996.
about Toronto Slovak Dancers is prepared by
Milan Popik, Manager.
Informacie o Toronto Slovak Dancers a ich
Milan Popik, Riaditel.
All contents copyright © 1997. All rights reserved.