Yablochko Dancers

1971 - present

In 1971, Carol Coulson, a talented ballet and national character dance teacher, was hired to start a Folkdance group at the Russian Community Centre. She brought with her a number of young ballet students who were interested in folkdance. They rehearsed twice a week at the RCC and soon the group grew to over 30 dancers.

Mrs. Coulson was also asked to start a children's dance program through the Russian school. Soon there were dancers ranging from ages 4 to 44. Often times, the RCC stage had to be extended to fit the whole group for performances. Mrs. Coulson had wonderful ideas for costumes and choreography on a grand scale. Under her direction, the RCC Folkdance Group was one of the strongest performing groups in Vancouver.

Over the years there were many collaborative efforts made with the RCC Orchestra and RCC Folk Choir for the Folkfest shows at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, the CBC Film Special, Canada Day performances, and the International Heritage Festival in Ottawa. The Dance group also performed on its own at festivals all over the lower mainland as well as province wide.

There have been several Russian dance directors at the RCC over the years: Carol Coulson, Nikolai Kulik, Helen Savkovic, and Laresa Wright. In 1989, Natasha Lozovsky-Burns took over the role as artistic director and renamed the group: RCC Yablochko Dancers. This 15 member group performs regularly at the RCC in conjunction with the RCC Orchestra and children's groups. It has performed throughout Vancouver as well as in Seattle for the Folklife Festival, in Washington DC and Philadelphia at the annual Balalaika and Domra Association of America conventions, and in Detroit as guests of the Balalaika Orchestra of Detroit. The group is still going strong after 20 years! Those who may be interested in attending a rehearsal should enquire via the "Contact Us" section of this website.

In September, 2012, after 23 years of running the group, Natasha Lozovsky-Burns has stepped down as artistic director. The new artistic director is Stanislav Galimkhanov. Stanislav Galimkhanov graduated from the Bashkir Choreography College which is named after Rudolf Nuriev, in the Ariste of Folk Dance Ensemble program with a specialization in choreography. Soon after graduating, Stanislav began his career with the Folklore Dance Company "Miras", followed by a five years stint with The State Academic Gaskarov Folk Dance Company. Stanislav has performed in shows all over Russia and toured around the world giving performances in Turkey, Italy, Germany, France, Great Britain and Canada. In 2007 Stanislav was conferred to the highest level, that can be awarded in Russia for dancers, based on the United Tariff System. Since immigrating to Canada, Stanislav has continued to perform, choreograph and teach.