Dr. Jerzy Dobrowolski → 1956 - 1981

Dr. Jerzy Dobrowolski, created and led the group for 25 years.

Danuta Wolkowicka-Gilmour → 1981 - 1982 

Danuta Wolkowicka-Gilmour led the dance group for a year and a half. 

Ryszard Jurewicz → November 1982 to 1984 

Ryszard Jurewicz, a longtime dancer of the Polanie Dance Group, led the dance group for two years. 

Mrs. Elizabeth Zawidzka → exact dates unknown

Mrs. Zawidzka was the manager and instructor of the dance group. She had previously danced in Poland with “Mazowsze”. She introduced new techniques of teaching like pairing new dancers with more experienced dancers to speed up learning.

Ms. Helena Rozanska → 1981 to 1987 

Helena Rozanska led dance classes at the Polish Saturday School.

Teresa Krzaniak-Jurewicz  → 1987 - 1988

In 1987, Teresa Krzaniak-Jurewicz was certified by the Ontario Multicultural Council in the field of dance. At the request of Mr. Wieslaw Kuran, she began to teach a group of children, aged 5-14 years, at the Polish Saturday School. 

HIATUS: Fall of 1987 - January 1988 

Richard Jurewicz → 1988 - 1989 

The Senior group performed from 1988 to 1989 under Richard Jurewicz’s guidance. At the time, there were only two groups: 5-8 years, 9-13 years. They met every other Saturday after classes at Polish School.

Ms. Aileen Szkwarek → 1989

In 1989, Ms. Aileen Szkwarek, a qualified dance instructor,  arrived in Ottawa from Thunder Bay. At the request of Mrs. and Mr. Jurewicz, she agreed to teach, and brought in a number of new dances. The group consisted of dancers aged 14 to 40 years old. 

Mrs. Genowefa Cahill → exact dates unknown

The management of the entire dance group fell to Mrs. Genowefa Cahill in 1994. She continued until she left for Russia with her family.

Teresa Jurewicz → exact dates unknown 

Teresa Jurewicz led the group of dancers aged 8-13. However, expecting a child, she had to resign from this job. 

Natalia and George Talkaczew → May 1995 - 1996

Her work was taken over by paid instructors, Natalia and George Talkaczew. They led the middle and oldest groups from May 1995 to 1996. 

Magda Golędzinowska → 1991 - 1995

The youngest group, aged 4-8, was led by Mrs. Goledzinowska who danced with the oldest group since 1991. 

Zbigniew Zieliński → 1995 - February 1998

In the period from 1995 to February 1998 the average age of the group was between 8 and 13. The group was led by Zbigniew Zieliński, who was paid for his work as an instructor. The group consisted of 12 to 16 children. 

Andrzej Żwirko  → 1999

Mr. Zwirko ran classes for 16 Mondays. 

HIATUS: 1999

Mrs. Irene Baker → 2000 - 2005

Mrs. Emilia Pohl encouraged Mrs. Irene Baker to lead the group of kids. Mrs. Baker agreed, and taught for a short time. Dr. Dobrowolski and Helena Rozanska helped show her the basic dance steps. She would record this and use it to teach the dancers.

Dorothy Olszewska → exact dates unknown

Mrs. Mirowski → exact dates unknown 

Mr. Mark Mirowski suggested that his wife, a ballet instructor, help Mrs. Baker lead classes. Shortly after, the group led by Mrs. Mirowski joined Mrs. Baker’s.

Dr. Andrzej Borowiec → 2005 - Present

Prior to moving to Ottawa he was an instructor of the children and youth dance group “Promyk”  in Thunder Bay for 5 years. He completed a Polish dance instructors' course in Lublin, Poland. Since then, Andrzej has been leading the “Senior” and “Beginner” classes, as well as choreographing much of Polanie’s current repertoire.

Marta Janczarska → 2007-2013

In the summer of 2007 Marta Janczarska, completed the first year course for dance instructors in Lublin. She helped lead classes for children and youth, and was also a very effective promoter of the dance group and recruited many new participants. Mrs. Janczarska also choreographed one of Polanie’s most popular suites, Opoczno.

Rachel Domaratzki  → 2008 - Present

Rachel started learning Ukrainian dance at the age of 7. In 2005, she joined Pomorze Polish Folkdance Ensemble in Halifax to learn Polish dancing, and when she moved to Ottawa in 2008 she was happy to become a member of Polanie. She has been teaching the younger groups since 2010 and performing on stage since 2008. 

Joanna Pachulski → 2014 - Present

Joanna began Polish folk dancing in Ottawa when she was 5, like many of the children in the Saturday dance classes at which she assists. In July 2014, she completed the first year of the Polish folk dance choreography course at the University of Rzeszow and has assisted with teaching the “Intermediate” classes on Saturdays since 2014.

Monika Kardyś → 2017 - Present

Monika joined the group in 2017 and completed two years of the Choreography course in Rzeszow. She helps teach the “Beginner” and the “Senior” classes. In collaboration with Marta Janczarska and Marcel Podsadowska, a more active performance group was created. This group holds additional practices and actively performs both within and outside of the Polish community.

Marcel Podsadowska → 2018 - Present

Marcel has completed two years of the Choreography course in Rzeszow and acts as an assistant instructor when required. He has also contributed to the more active performance group which was created in collaboration with Marta Janczarska and Monika Kardyś.


Dr. Jerzy Dobrowolski → 1956 - 1981 (Admin)

Ryszard Jurewicz → 1989 - 1993 (Admin)

Mr. Jurewicz, a dance member since 1968, served as administrator. 

Teresa Krzaniak-Jurewicz → 1989 - 1993 (Treasurer and Coordinator)

Mrs. Krzaniak-Jurewicz was a dance member since 1970.

Mrs. Teresa Pekalska  → 1995 (Treasurer )

From 1995, Mrs. Teresa Pekalska was the treasurer of the dance group. She helped the middle group and danced in the oldest group. 

Mr. Stanislaw Kielar → 1995 (Chair of Parents Committee)

Stanislaw Kielar was often the master of ceremonies at performances, and dealt with sound recordings. 

Wieslaw Kuran and Jozef Semrau → 2014 - 2016 (Audit Committee)

Mr. Kuran and Mr. Semrau reviewed the financial statements for the period until 2016. 

Christina Zwierzchowska (Pachulska) →  2008 - 2020 (Costumes)

Mrs. Zwierzchowska has been a long time volunteer with the group and has helped manage costumes with Mrs. Pohl as well as assisted with various Polanie events. She is always around to help make sure things are running smoothly.

Mrs. Emilia Pohl → 1996 - Present (Treasurer & Costumes)

Mrs. Pohl belonged to the PTA of the Polish School for many years and was a member of the Audit Committee of the dance group. In addition to accounting responsibilities, she took care of the costumes and props and created a written inventory of all Polanie’s costumes. To pay for instructors in the past, Mrs. Pohl raised funds from the parents of dancers, and ran bake sales at the Polish School. She also helped coordinate the creation of a document to record the group’s history.

In 2000 Emilia and Karol Pohl created a list of Costumes individually labeling every item (over 900 items!) to set up the groups Inventory. Mrs. Pohl has been an amazing contributor to Polanie and continues to tirelessly support the group. It is thanks to her important work and dedication that Polanie is still thriving today.

Andrzej Borowiec → 2005 - Present (Admin)

Andrzej manages all communication requests that come in and maintains the back-end of things to ensure the group is running smoothly. From registration to maintenance, Andrzej helps keep things going. During the 2020-2021 dance year hiatus, with the help of Rachel, Andrzej began the digital cataloging process of all of Polanie’s costumes.

Rachel Domaratzki  → 2008 - Present (Admin)

Rachel helps ensure parents and dancers receive updates and information throughout the year. She helps ensure that every detail has been thought of and covered in planning! Over the 2020-2021 dance year hiatus, she has began the process of digitally cataloging all of Polanies costumes with the help of Andrzej.

Monika Kardyś → 2017 - Present (Media Manager and Admin)

Monika manages the group's online presence, creates all advertising for the group and its performances, and helps coordinate the group’s performances. 

See any missing info or dates to correct? Please let us know so we can ensure our history is complete!