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The Running Thunder Dancers, created in 2010 by founder Adrian LaChance, delivered their spectacular brand of song, dance and storytelling. The group has participated at numerous venues and has danced in locations outside of Canada that include New Zealand, Mongolia, Beijing, Shanghai, United Kingdom, Holland and Germany.


“We’ve been performing for several years now and we really enjoy the interaction we share with students and staff at the many schools we visit each year,” explained group leader, Adrian LaChance. “To date, we have visited with and performed at about 40 different schools in Edmonton and throughout the region. We’ve built a very positive relationship with both the Public and Catholic School systems and we enjoy the time we get to spend with the students.”


The Running Thunder Dancers do more than perform songs for students; LaChance and other members of the group also visit schools and talk to the students about their futures and the importance of getting an education.


“One thing the Elders tell us,” noted LaChance, “is to persevere, to follow through on our commitments and above all to never give up, never quit, never throw in the towel so to speak. Quitters cannot win, thus it is imperative to move ahead, one day at a time, seeking the advice we need to succeed and locating the inner fortitude to see it through. We talk about self-esteem and personal identity; we talk about individual and collective empowerment, respect for self and others, finding harmony and contentment within ourselves. We encourage youth to stay in school, to respect parents, teachers and strangers and we put an emphasis on what can be accomplished when we work together to achieve our goals. Today’s students are tomorrow’s leaders and we need them to be strong, independent, wise and thoughtful. Daily interaction and maintaining positive goals are key elements to a successful future and that is the message we deliver at every possible opportunity.”


The Running Thunder Dancers, noted LaChance, “is Alberta’s leading First Nations dance group that helps to promote health and wellness through song and dance. To dance is to heal, to heal is to give, to give is to love, to love is to dance.”


Running Thunder Dancers are no strangers to the Ukrainian Community as they collaborated with Edmonton’s very own Shumka Dancers in 2018 for a major production called Ancestors and Elders. The Running Thunder Dancers are excited to be invited as UFEST’s first Cultural guest in 2020 and they look forward to joining forces with our Ukrainian performers! 

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