Faculty


Shane Gibson - Artistic Director//Lead Instructor

Shane Gibson is a former member and past President of the Ukrainian Shumka Dancers, with whom he danced for more than 14 years. During his involvement with Shumka, he toured extensively throughout Canada, the United States and China as a cast member of Absolutely Shumka, Cobbler's Princess and Cinderella. Shane has received training in Character Ballet, Jazz, Modern, and Musical Theatre and has worked and trained with with several celebrated artists in North America and Ukraine. Shane has complimented his dance training with studies in gross human anatomy/physiology, biomechanics, and visual and performing arts. He has shared his love of dance with students across Western Canada as an Artistic Director, Instructor or Adjudicator and is currently focused on developing and delivering quality professional development and resources for Ukrainian dance instructors. Shane has successfully created an original full length production for Tryzub's Ensemble titled Heroiam Slava - Glory to the Heroes; taking this on tour to Ukraine in the summer of 2019 and Western Canada in the fall of 2019.

Christine Biss - Lead Instructor

Christine began her Ukrainian dance career at age five, and was a student of Tryzub School for eleven years. In 2007 she joined Tryzub's School faculty striving to share her love of dance with her students. She has studied Ukrainian dance, ballet, and musical theatre under several very talented instructors, including Mrs. Anna Kanevets and Shane Gibson. Christine has been performing with the Tryzub Ukrainian Dance Ensemble since 2008, her career highlights have included international tours to Mexico, Turkey, Panama, and Colombia, national productions of Razom and Razom 2, and most recently the 45th anniversary tour of Heroiam Slava in Canada and Ukraine. Tryzub has always been a primary focus of Christine's life and family; both her parents are Tryzub alumni, and her husband dances with her in the Ensemble. Christine's two ultimate goals as a dancer are to tour to Ukraine and to break the record for Tryzub's highest performance count. In addition to being a dance instructor Christine works fulltime as a chemical engineer.

Bryan Pitchko - Lead Instructor

Bryan began Ukrainian dancing in Winnipeg over 25 years ago, and continued in Calgary with the Tryzub School of Ukrainian Dance and the Tryzub Ukrainian Dance Ensemble. He joined the Volya Ukrainian Dance Ensemble after moving to Edmonton in 2004 to attend university. He has toured extensively, internationally with both Tryzub and Volya. While in Edmonton he began teaching and choreographing Ukrainian dance with Kupalo and later in 2011 began choreographing for the Zorya Dancers in Thunder Bay, Ontario, and still does today.

Bryan is a corporate insurance broker, a musician, a husband and proud father.

Kristen Bushell -Lead and Assistant Instructor

Kristen began her dance training at age 5 in the disciplines of contemporary, jazz, tap, and ballet. She started Ukrainian dancing at age 11 with the School of Tryzub Ukrainian Dance and is now a current dancer with the Tryzub Ukrainian Dance Ensemble. In 2018 Kristen participated in the Ukrainian Dance Workshop Tour to expand her knowledge of both traditional and stage Ukrainian folk dance. Through this she studied with Virsky, The Poltava Ensemble, The Zaprorzhtsi Ukrainian Song and Dance Ensemble, and the Prolisok Ukrainian Dance Ensemble. Outside of dance Kristen is currently in her final year of obtaining a Bachelor of Kinesiology at the University of Calgary. She uses her knowledge of  physical literacy, pedagogy, and biomechanics to compliment her dance instruction. Kristen has a love for both the science and art of dance which makes her dedicated to share this passion with every one of her students.

Alex Tarasenko-Lead and Assistant Instructor

Alex started dancing at the age of 12 with Tryzub School and subsequently Junior Tryzub; loving it ever since. He has been a member of the Tryzub Ukrainian Dance Ensemble since 2014. Studying under Shane Gibson, Vasyl Kanevets, and Anna Kanevets has brought Alex a wealth of knowledge and experience in boys' tricks which he shares with the students of Tryzub School. Alex is proud to assist with Junior Tryzub and looks forward to instructing with Tryzub School for his fifth year! Another exciting chapter awaits this summer as he prepares  for a Ukrainian Dance Workshop opportunity in Ukraine.

Nolan van Ryzewyk - Assistant Instructor

Nolan has been dancing with the Tryzub Ukrainian Dance Society since 2013 where he trained with Mr. and Mrs. Kanevets. Since 2015 Nolan has been dancing with the Tryzub Ukrainian Dance Ensemble now allowing him to train under the Artistic Direction of Shane Gibson. He has been teaching in the Tryzub School of Ukrainian Dance since 2016 and discovered a passion and love of teaching dance to people of all ages. Nolan aims to broaden his education in Ukrainian culture and was excited to dance on Tryzub's tour to Ukraine in summer 2019. Nolan is currently studying Health and Physical Education at Mount Royal University; he is blending his developing knowledge of physical literacy into his dance instruction. He hopes to inspire his students, and others; furthering their knowledge and love for Ukrainian dance. Some of Nolan's performance highlights include Tryzub 40 and Heroiam Slava - Glory to the Heroes.