Vychodna Slovak Dancers

The Vychodna Slovak Dancers are a Folklore Ensemble from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. They are well known, not only in Canada, but throughout the US and Slovakia. They perform a wide variety of traditional dances from many regions of Slovakia.

What originated as the St.Mary’s Slovak Dancers in 1985, has now become a group of determined young dancers who enjoy performing their dances for audiences all over.

History: The Vychodna Slovak Dancers were organized in October, 1985. The group was originally called the St. Mary’s Slovak Dancers because they were and still are a part of the St. Mary’s Slovak Greek Catholic Church community. In 1987 the group danced an award winning performance at the International Youth Festival in Quebec. During the July 1st celebrations the group danced at the City Hall of Toronto and also at the festivities in High Park. Both were sponsored by the community Folk Arts Council. During the summer of 1988 the group participated in a Tribute to Slovakia held at Ontario Place. They have also performed at Harbourfront, the C.N.E. and various other places in Toronto, and took part in the opening ceremonies of SkyDome. They have also performed at various Slovak church and social functions, including the annual Odpust (banquet) at St. Mary’s Church; the annual Slovak Day picnic and at the Jarny Ples. (Organized by the Vychodna Slovak Dancers)

Recently: In the past two years not only has the group traveled in and about Toronto, but other places as well including: Cleveland, Montreal, Detroit, Windsor, Welland, Hamilton and Scarbourough.

Greatest Accomplishments: The greatest accomplishments the group has had would be dancing in Slovakia. First in 1990, the Senior group traveled to the festival in Detva.

Then in July of 1992 both the Seniors and Juniors traveled to the city of Martin to participate in the World Festival of Slovak Youth. (Svetovy Festival Slovenskej Mladeze)

Present: At present the Vychodna Slovak Dancers have 30 members, consisting of 14 members in the Junior group and 16 in the Senior group. Their repertoire is composed of 15 dances, from generations ago, also they sing the beautiful Slovak folk songs. They are currently choreographing more. They were taught most of their dances by Stefan Kocak, the choreographer for the Vranovcan Dancers in Slovakia. He came from Slovakia to Toronto to teach some dances to the group. However, for several years, their instructor; a former member of the Zemplin Dancers, has been John Kadet.

Future Performances:

1. In November we will be returning to Cleveland to perform again.

2. A performance during the March Spring Break of 1998 are in the plans for DisneyLand in Orlando, Florida, U.S.A.

Photographs of Vychodna Slovak Dancers from summer of 1996.


Information prepared by Ignac Zajac Jr.

Group president Ignac Zajac

If you have any questions or comments feel free to email them to vychodna@hotmail.com
All contents copyright 1997. All rights
reserved.
All comments should be forwarded to Ondro Mihal at omihal@slovak.com

Last Update: Sept. 25, 1997