GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — The Fred Astaire Dance Studios in Greensboro have been reuniting 15 Ukrainian ballroom dancers as part of a program that allows Ukrainians to find refuge here in the Piedmont Triad area.
The ‘Uniting for Ukraine’ program allows Ukrainian citizens who have fled Russia’s war to come to the United States.
10-year-old Lisza Bondarenka and her family and 11-year-old Matvii Skaskiv’s family were the latest to flee to Greensboro for safety of the war, both have been ballroom dancing partners for over five years and since the war started, they have not seen each other let alone dance.
Back in February when the war started in Ukraine, both of their families moved to Europe where they continued practicing dance, and entered and won several juvenile category competitions in May, shortly after they separated while their families found ways to flee the country for safety.
“Very happy to be here, because first of all because of my parents and second of all we’re not in Ukraine and don’t have to hear the sound of explosions anymore,” said Bondarenka.
Bondarenka and her family made it to Greensboro in June before her dance partner Skaskiv did.
Skaskiv and his family made it to Greensboro Tuesday after landing in Charlotte, both Skaskiv and Bondarenka have been dancing since.
The two have been practicing seven days a week and Skaskiv mother who is also his instructor is excited to see what the two can do in future competitions.
“I am very happy, because they both are very talented, and they dance together about five or six years and they have very good results and we are very happy that they can practice and dance now together,” said Polina Skaskiv, mother, dance instructor.
Skaskiv said the two are planning to compete in Orlando this September.
Both Bondarenka and Skaskiv will be attending Guilford County School District this year in August and are excited to learn about what more Greensboro has to offer.