TEN YOUNG Ukrainian girls, who sought refuge from the horrors of war in Limerick, have found sanctuary in the joy of music and dance.
And some of the youngsters who have taken up the offer of free dance classes from Billy Franklin of the Flawless School Of Dance in Kileely are already winning awards for their talents.
Billy opened the dance lessons for free to the children because “we all need to do whatever we can for them. We know what they have come from and any bit of normality helps,” he told the Limerick Post.
The classes are based in St Munchins Community Centre, where centre manager, Linda Ledger, supports the endeavour.
Eight-year-old twin sisters Sofia and Snezhana Boklach have entered just a couple of competitions and have already placed in the top three.
“I have taken these two girls to three competitions with our school and they have both won first place in various dance styles and Sofia also winning two overall titles, where all the winners in each age group dance off and the judges pick an overall winner.
“The Ukrainian girls all seem to have taken to dancing. They’re very talented. I don’t think they had dance classes at home. One has a background in gymnastics but they are very enthusiastic,” he said.
Eight of the girls attend classes regularly, some of them up to four times a week while the others drop in.
“They’re having fun and making lots of new friends. At first. we had to use Google Translate to understand each other but their English is getting much better,” Billy said.
Billy, who has been teaching dance for 15 years, is happy to accept more students and the offer of free classes still stands.
Details can be had from his Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/billyflawless.