MILWAUKEE — As the war in Ukraine continues, the Dnipro Ukrainian Dance Ensemble is working to keep the Ukrainian culture alive.
The Dnipro Ukrainian Dance Ensemble was founded in 1967 in Milwaukee with the purpose of celebrating Ukrainian cultures and traditions.
Amy Mulhall has been dancing traditional folk with this group since the 80’s. While she dances, her mind is constantly with her family in Ukraine.
“I am terrified,” said Mulhall. “I have about 100 to 150 relatives in Ukraine.”
Mulhall said since Ukraine is in mourning, it isn’t typical to dance at times like these.
While it may be difficult to move in the dance’s celebratory manner, they’re doing it to keep the Ukrainian community together.
“We’re trying to unite as one to show our pride for our heritage and show them we support them the best that we can here with everything going on in Ukraine,” said Mulhall.
Although she is afraid for her family back home, she said they are resilient.
“None of them want to leave,” said Mulhall. “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 she was five years old. She said being a part of this group keeps many close to their Ukrainian roots.
“It’s exercise, it's art, it’s socializing and friends,” she said. “It’s really everything that you can pack into one activity.”
Orlowski enjoys seeing people of Ukrainian descent and non-Ukrainian descent come together to keep the culture alive in Milwaukee.
To learn more about the Ukrainian Dance Ensemble and its upcoming events, click here.