MILWAUKEE — As the war in Ukraine continues, the Dnipro Ukrainian Dance Ensemble is working to keep Ukrainian culture alive.
The Dnipro Ukrainian Dance Ensemble was founded in 1967 in Milwaukee with the goal of celebrating Ukrainian cultures and traditions.
Amy Mulhall has been dancing traditional folk with this group since the 80s. While dancing, her mind is constantly on her family in Ukraine.
“I’m terrified,” Mulhall said. “I have about 100-150 relatives in Ukraine.”
Mulhall said that since Ukraine is in mourning, it is not typical to dance at times like these.
Although it may be difficult to move in the festive manner of dancing, they do so to keep the Ukrainian community together.
“We’re trying to come together to show our pride in our heritage and show them that we support them as best we can here with everything that’s going on in Ukraine,” Mulhall said.
Although she fears for her family back home, she said she is resilient.
“None of them want to leave,” Mulhall said. “They are very proud of their country and they want to stay until the end.”
Julia Orlowski is also a member of the group and has been dancing with the ensemble since the age of five. She said being part of this group allows many to stay close to their Ukrainian roots.
“It’s exercise, it’s art, it’s socializing and friends,” she said. “It’s really all you can cram into one activity.”
Orlowski enjoys seeing people of Ukrainian and non-Ukrainian descent coming together to keep culture alive in Milwaukee.
To learn more about the Ukrainian Dance Ensemble and its upcoming events, click here.