Yukon’s favourite inspirational dancer, Gurdeep Pandher, has joined forces with Edmonton’s Ukrainian Shumka dancers.
“We wanted to show unity, togetherness — that we here in Canada, or in the world we are together for Ukraine, for the people of the Ukraine,” Pandher said.
“It gave us a way to just highlight the strength, resiliency and the pride of Ukrainian people and the battles they’re fighting over there,” Ukrainian Shumka dancer Elyse Dzenick said.
Pandher is known for his uplifting videos, using his platform to share powerful messages.
“It’s very important for me to give those reminders every single day to people. It’s like daily affirmations,” Pandher said.
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“I like to remind people that, ‘Hey, actually we are one people, we are one human race. We belong to not just one corner, we belong to the whole planet.’”
He and the Shumka dancers learned each other’s dances through virtual training sessions.
“I’ve never done bhangra dancing,” Dzenick said.
Their video has received more than half a million views and with that a lot of positive feedback.
“People were writing that they were crying with tears of happiness and hope for unity in the world and peace in the world,” Pandher said.
They hope their message keeps resonating.
“You don’t have to be just a Ukrainian Canadian or of Ukrainian descent or in the Ukrainian community to show solidarity with Ukraine right now,” Ukrainian Shumka dancer Nic Pacholok said.
“Anything that I can do to help show any type of solidarity — it’s hard being here in Canada where you feel so removed from something that inside you feel affects you so deeply.”