'I just love it': Shumka hosts dance workshop for seniors

An Edmonton Ukrainian seniors dance group put on an interactive workshop in Sherwood Park to get other seniors up and moving.

Shumka's Silver Swans and Seniors Can Shumka dance groups, along with Shumka's Creative Director Tasha Orysiuk, held a workshop for seniors living at Aster Gardens in Sherwood Park.

"Just a basic movement class of how to move your body, we moved our arms, we moved our legs, we held onto hands and did circle work," said Orysiuk.

The pandemic has hit seniors' homes in many ways, including isolating residents from their families for long periods of time. The seniors dance group was hoping to spread the joy of ballet and Shumka to seniors at Aster Gardens.

"To come and bring some joy to residents that maybe haven't had a lot of people during COVID time, it's really nice to do that," said Orysiuk.

"Oh I just love it. And I love getting them up," said Silver Swans dancer Zoie McIntyre.

The hour-long workshop had some residents joining in on the dance floor, and others dancing and clapping in their seats.

"I love to dance, and this is a different type of dance. The Ukrainian dance is so much different than what I'm used to, but it's not hard to adjust to," said Aster Gardens resident Marilyn Klein.

McIntyre says dancing is a great way for seniors to keep their minds sharp as they age.

"You're thinking of 50 things at once. You're thinking to pull your stomach in, tighten up your butt, keep your legs straight, keep your back straight," said McIntyre.

Shumka's Silver Swans is an adult ballet class for people over 55. Seniors Can Shumka is a weekly program for seniors with all levels of mobility to enjoy Ukrainian music and movement for fun and fitness.

With files from CTV News Edmonton's Darcy Seaton