Artistic Director, Dave Ganert


With over thirty-nine years of Ukrainian Dance to his credit, Dave Ganert has become one of Canada's leading choreographers and directors. Mr. Ganert’s extensive accumulated training in Ukrainian, ballet, character and modern dance can be seen in many of his creations. Over the course of his career, Mr. Ganert has instructed eighteen dance schools to over 3,000 students, instructed workshops all over Canada, United States, Ukraine and China to various ages and has adjudicated multiple festivals across the country.

In 1991, Mr. Ganert had the privilege of joining the world renowned Ukrainian Shumka Dancers. Mr. Ganert served as Shumka’s Resident Choreographer for 13 years, Principle for 11 years, Associate Artistic Director for 7 years and as Artistic Director for 6 years. Along with the many productions Mr. Ganert was a part of creating; he co-developed an extensive summer dance program for youth and created Canada’s first Intensive Division of Ukrainian Dance. Mr. Ganert’s innovative artistic talents and choreography has also gained him much recognition and numerous scholarships and awards throughout Canada including Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee Medal honoring his significant contributions and achievements by a Canadian.

With Shumka, Dave Ganert has performed in over 600 shows locally, nationally and around the world. One performance highlight was the touring production of A Royal Christmas when Mr. Ganert joined Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer, and Charlotte Church, with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra of London, Westminster Choir, the Kiev Ballet, and artists from the Bolshoi, Royal Ballet of London, and the Royal Winnipeg Ballet which toured 15 cities throughout the United States and Canada. Mr. Ganert is also the first Canadian director to work with the Virsky Ukrainian National Folk Dance Ensemble from Kiev, Ukraine.

Mr. Ganert’s passion and refreshing perspective to Ukrainian Dance continues to captivate the admiration of audiences all over the globe including Jean-Marc Généreux, of So You Think You Can Dance Canada, which Mr. Ganert collaborated with in a tribute piece recognizing the struggle and celebrating the triumph of people living with Multiple Sclerosis. In 2013, Dave joined the Edmonton Opera as a movement consultant in Eugene Onegin and was the choreographer for the 2015 production of The Merry Widow.

Dave Ganert is a psychology graduate at the University Of Alberta where he spent two years working with Alberta Family and Social Services working with youth. Prior to focusing on Child Psychology, Dave spent time in Social Psychology.

Mr. Ganert continues to share his high technical standard and creative talents, boundless energy and commitment to a rich culture which has made him a much respected member of the arts community. His natural talent for movement and composition combined with his incredible passion for dance and culture will continue to grow and guide his artistic success. Mr. Ganert is thrilled to have joined the St. Paul Desna Ukrainian Dance Club in September 2017 and serves as the current director for the group.

Instructor, Erin Haugen

Erin Haugen   Erin Haugen Young

Erin has spent the majority of her life dancing. Born and raised in Edmonton, AB, she started both ballet and Ukrainian Dance at the age 4 (fun fact: Artistic Director Dave Ganert was Erin’s very first Ukrainian Dance Instructor). It wasn’t long before Erin pursued the quality instruction of the Edmonton Dance Centre for RAD Ballet Training under Deborah Morgan, and the brand new Shumka School of Dance for Ukrainiain dance. During her time at the Shumka School, on top of competing across Alberta and Saskatchewan, Erin took part in the pilot program for what is now the Shumka Dance Syllabus and the first years of the Shumka Dance Camps.

In high school Erin was accepted into the Viter Ukrainian Dancers, dancing and touring with the group until moving to Calgary, AB where she earned her BFA degree from Alberta College of Art and Design (ACAD).

After college Erin moved to Manitoba (where she taught a recreational Ukrainian Dance class for students on campus at St. Andrew’s College) and back again to Alberta for a year with her husband Fr. Peter Haugen. Eventually they ended up in Nanaimo, BC where they started their family.

In 2013 Erin and her family relocated to St Paul and Erin once again took up Ukrainian dancing with the adult group of the Kryla Ukrainian Dance Club in Bonnyville, AB. During her time with Kryla she has acted as assistant instructor when required and as of 2020 continues to dance and compete. All in all, Erin has over 20 years of dance experience and she looks forward to sharing it with the St. Paul Ukrainian Dance Club.


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