Faculty- 2020-2021


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 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-Glory to the Heroes 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 danced 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.

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 sixth year!

Nolan van Ryzewyk - Lead and 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.

Natasha Krochak - RAD Ballet Instructor

Miss Natasha brings with her over 2 decades of dance experience. Since the age of 3, she has been training in ballet and Ukrainian dance. She has completed RAD (Royal Academy of Dance) ballet exams Primary to Grade 8, as well as vocational exams Intermediate Foundation to Advanced 2. Miss Natasha has been teaching ballet, Ukrainian and lyrical for the past 10 years, and has loved every moment. She is a graduate with a Bachelors in Commerce in Operations Management from the University of Calgary, with a minor in dance. She has since finished her teacher training and is now a certified instructor with the RAD. As a member of the Tryzub Ukrainian Dance Ensemble, she is very excited to start teaching ballet to the students of Tryzub School and anyone else who wants to join in.

Maria Lyzaniwski - Assistant Instructor

Maria has been dancing with Tryzub Ukrainian Dance Society for 13 years, studying both Ukrainian dance and ballet under Anna Kanevets, Christine Biss, Anne Copeland, Dean Mackedenski, and Shane Gibson.  Maria joined the Tryzub Ukrainian Dance Ensemble in May 2019.  She subsequently travelled, performed, and participated in workshops in Ukraine and performed in their latest show, Heroiam Slava-Glory to the Heroes, while on the Western Canada tour.  Dance is a family affair, with Maria sharing her joy of Ukrainian dance with her two younger sisters who are in Junior Tryzub.  What Maria enjoys most about Ukrainian dance is performing, and the feeling she gets when she hears the applause after performing Hopak!  Going into her first year of teaching, Maria is very excited to be able to work with and guide younger dancers and share her love of Ukrainian dance with them.