School Artistic Director - Zhenia Bahri
Zhenia’s love for dance was ignited when he first began dancing at the Palace of Pioneers in Kitsman, Ukraine. This early experience led him to search out a career in professional dance. Zhenia graduated from the Chernivtsi College of Cultural Arts in the Faculty of Dance. He graduated with honors with a diploma in Professional Dance and Dance Education. Soon after graduation, Zhenia was accepted to dance with the Bukovyna State Song and Dance Ensemble, with whom he toured over 12 countries. During his employment with this professional ensemble, he was the primary soloist and highest paid dancer.
In 1993 Zhenia came to Canada and taught Ukrainian Dance with various groups. Reputation of his excellence spread, and Zhenia was invited to conduct workshops and adjudicate in many cities across Canada. Zhenia has conducted many regional workshops as well as male technical and solo workshops.
An alumnist and guest instructor for the Volya Ukrainian Dance Ensemble and School, Zhenia was asked to become the director in the fall of 2000. He has had a very successful tenure with Volya, creating a brand new exciting repertoire. He has led Volya on tour to Salt Lake City, Germany, Holland, Brazil, Italy, California, Portugal, New York, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Turkey, Azores Islands, France, and this summer to the United Kingdom.
Zhenia's vast experience has afforded him the artistic insight of a professional dancer, the choreographic excellence of a respected director, and the passion of a man who has dedicated his life to the art of Ukrainian dance.
Instructor - Kelsey Kelly
Kelsey Kelly is a passionate and enthusiastic dancer, co-instructor, and teacher. Beginning her Ukrainian dance training at the age of ten, Kelsey has extensive experience in Ukrainian dance and ballet. She has studied these forms of dance with great attention and appreciation for the art.
Her ballet training consisted of learning under former prima ballerina, Maria Bokor in the Vaganova Ballet program. She pursued Ukrainian dance simultaneously as she started dancing with her local group, the Lamont Veselka Dancers. Over the past 20 years she has been dedicated to training in the art of Ukrainian dance through various workshops and under the direction of very charismatic and authentic Ukrainian dance specialists and choreographers.
Currently, Kelsey is an active member of the Volya Ukrainian Dance Ensemble. She is enjoying the opportunities her dedication to the group has allowed for international travel and performance. She’s been fortunate to have entertained audiences across Europe, as well as North and South America. In addition to dancing with Volya, her passion for dance and children has been inspiration for her dedication in the role of dance instructor. She has been a long time co-instructor with the Volya School of Ukrainian Dance and has taught at other dance schools around the local area.
Outside of the dancing world, Kelsey is an Elementary School teacher in her hometown of Lamont, Alberta. Her passion and love for teaching has her continuously helping children embrace their learning.
Instructor - Odessa Bahri
Odessa Bahri began dancing both ballet and Ukrainian at the age of 4. She was so passionate about dance that at the age of 8 she began to take lessons in other genres including jazz, contemporary, lyrical and modern through Shelley's Dance Company. There she took the opportunity to attend workshops with many world renowned choreographers, such as Stacey Tookey and Keltie Colleen. Odessa's passion for kids and their success led her to be a Co-Director of the For Kids by Kids Benefit Concert where she helped raise over $33,000 for the Stollery Children's Hospital Foundation.
Odessa currently dances with the Volya Ukrainian Dance Ensemble and havs been able to tour with the ensemble to Greece, Colombia, and Croatia. In addition to performing with Volya, she has sat on the executive for the past 3 years.
To expand on her dance experience, Odessa began teaching at the Thorhild Ukrainian Dance Club and assisting with the Koperoush School of Ukrainian Dance. Odessa is very excited to be a part of the Volya School Family!