the current Vice President of the Polish Roman Catholic Union of America, Pani Misia was the owner of several businesses from 1978-2007. She is the Founder, Artistic Director and Choreographer of WESOŁY LUD (1977-2014) and the PRCUA Southwest Center of Polish Dancing - SWCPD (1985-2009); Choreographer of the Cinderella and Prince Charming Ball (1976 to 2013), She has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Polish and History, with a minor in Education. Pani Misia began her career as a Polish folk dancer at 5 years of age and as a Polish folk dance instructor at 14; during college she danced with the Kujawiaki under Jan Sejda, a renowned Polish choreographer. After college, she founded Wesoly Lud from the Adult and Teen Culture Group of PRCUA and began teaching dance in many PRCUA children’s schools which eventually she organized to form the SWCPD. Pani Misia attended many seminars in Polish Folk Dance throughout the North American continent, organizing such a Seminar and Festival in Chicago first in 1982 and then again in 2007. In 1985 and 1989, Pani Misia was the Choreographer and Coordinator of the PRCUA Youth Galas in Chicago. In 1997, she was elected the first female President of the Polish Folk Dance Association of the Americas, Inc. (PFDAA), a position she was elected to again in 2010 – during her first term, she organized the PFDAA Performing Tour of Northern Poland and commissioned the 2011 PFDAA Performing Tour including Budapest, Hungary. Pani Misia received a Master/Apprentice Grant from IAC mentoring Elizabeth Sliwa-Tomala (2002) and Katarzyna Rogala-Jacher (2007). In May of 2003, the Honorable Richard M. Daley, Mayor of Chicago, recognized Micheline Jaminski with an award for her work with the Illinois youth in perpetuating the Polish folk culture. In 2005-2006, she worked with the Dance School of the St. Rafal Kalinowski Polish Language School in Munster, IN. From 2007 to 2013, Pani Misia was the Artistic Director and Choreographer of the Polanie Dancers of the John Paul II Polish School in Lemont, IL In 2014, she was awarded the Silver Medal of Merit from the President of the Republic of Poland.
Self employed from 1988-2007, currently he is employed with EMNS. He is the Artistic Director, Choreographer and Recording Engineer of the WESOŁY LUD Polish Folk Dance Company, Inc. and PRCUA Southwest Center of Polish Dancing – SWCPD, both since 1987. Prior to emigrating to the USA, he attended the Polytechnic Institute in Rzeszow, Poland majoring in Electrical Engineering and later, the Higher Institute of Education in Rzeszow, to become a teacher. In addition, he graduated from the State Music School in Rzeszów – learning to play the piano and accordion, writing and arranging music. Under the guidance of renowned choreographer and folk dance specialist, Bozena Niżanska, Pan Richard became an outstanding dancer, performer and choregrapher/instructor. He attended many instructors’ courses in regional and national Polish dance and eventually, started a young adult group “RZESZÓW” and a children’s group “POZIOMKI” in Poland. Pan Richard came to the U.S. at the invitation of the Rzeszowiacy Polish Folk Dance Group in Chicago as a guest Choreographer and soon after found his was to Wesoły Lud as a dancer. Since 1987, he has been active with Wesoły Lud, as well as SWCPD, as its Artistic Director and Choreographer; former Choreographer of the White and Red Ball sponsored by the Legion of Young Polish Women; Choreographer of the Cinderella Ball (2014-present); currently the Artistic Director and Choreographer of the Polanie Dancers of the John Paul II Polish School in Lemont, IL. Pan Richard’s innovative and energetic choreography has been well recognized in Poland as well as in the U.S. and in 2002, Richard received a Finalist Award in Ethnic and Folk Arts - Artists’ Fellowship from IAC. In 2014, Pan Rich was awarded the Silver Medal of Merit from the President of the Republic of Poland. 2017 marks Pan Richard’s 30th Anniversary with Wesoly Lud and SWCPD.
The Ensemble’s history reflects the initiative, talent and dedication these two have for their dancers and for Polish folk culture.
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