LOCAL NEWS

Ukrainian ballerina takes the stage in local music video benefiting refugees

Jun 20, 2022, 10:22 PM | Updated: Jun 21, 2022, 6:11 am

SPRINGVILLE, Utah — Music is a language we all understand, and local artists, with the help of refugees, are sharing their talent in hopes of spreading a message of love.

The music video, a DJ Evans Media production, was released on World Refugee Day. It honors Utah’s newest residents and features nearly 50 refugees who have resettled in the Beehive State, including the Voronetska family.

Masha Voronetska, 13, and her family fled Kyiv, Ukraine, at the beginning of the war and made their way to Utah in March. The journey was a heartbreaking and unimaginable experience for the teenager.

“I’ve seen some things that I’ve only seen in horror movies before,” Masha said. “I was scared.”

Masha, who missed the comforts of home, looked for a way to connect with her new community through dance. She began ballet classes, and in June, was asked to perform in a local music video.

“I was so excited to participate,” she said. “All my life in Ukraine, I was going to ballet academy. All my friends are from ballet. Ballet, to me, is a form of art. All the movements are so beautiful and I can really express myself.”

In the video, Masha dawned a traditional Ukrainian flower headdress, along with ballet pointe shoes, as she danced on stage at the Rivoli Theater in Springville.

Local singers Yahosh Bonner and Halee Crowther also performed under images of refugee children painting peaceful, anti-war signs.

The video featured the song “Peace, Be Still,” written by Sharie Saunders Howell and produced by Jonathan Keith. Howell told KSL her goal was to shed light on the refugee community in Utah and to raise awareness for the nonprofitUtah Valley Refugees.

To date, the nonprofit has helped nearly 160 refugees resettle in the state.

The organization’s executive director hoped the video would spread awareness about how they help refugees integrate into new communities and would encourage more people to volunteer and donate to support their efforts.

“Music is the best channel of communicating,” said Leonard Bagalwa, executive director of Utah Valley Refugees. “Many of the refugees featured are children who have been through a lot. These children are innocent. Some of them are born in a refugee camp and they come here so they know nothing about politics or anything that happened in their home county. We just hope that people will join our effort to support them.”

To watch the entire music video, click here.

KSL 5 TV Live

Local News

Matthew McConaughey speaks at the National Governors Association meeting in Utah on Friday morning....

Karah Brackin

Matthew McConaughey discusses political polarization at NGA meeting in SLC

Throughout Friday morning, security around The Grand America Hotel has heightened as the state welcomed in governors from across the U.S., Matthew McConaughey, and Ukrainian President Zelenskyy, and discusses political polarization.

1 hour ago

Ariel view of the 40-year-old Alta Canyon Sports Center in Sandy, Utah. (KSL TV, Chopper 5)...

Brittany Tait

Sandy City Council to vote on rec center renovation

The renovation of the 40-year-old Alta Canyon Sports Center will dot the agenda of the city’s upcoming council meeting on July 23 at 5:15 p.m.

2 hours ago

Matthew McConaughey speaks with Utah Gov. Spencer Cox and Colorado Gov. Jared Polis at the National...

Bridger Beal-Cvetko, KSL.com

Watch live: Ukrainian President Zelenskyy, Matthew McConaughey speak in Salt Lake City

Watch as Matthew McConaughey speaks with Utah Gov. Spencer Cox and Colorado Gov. Jared Polis at the National Governors Association in Salt Lake City.

4 hours ago

Cristian Ortega, from Orem, takes a water break in the shade while working on construction at the U...

Carter Williams, KSL.com

Records fall as heat wave grips Utah

Utah temperature records started to fall Thursday as a "heat dome" settles over the state.

4 hours ago

Amid extreme heat that set new records Thursday, doctors were cautioning that symptoms of heat-rela...

Andrew Adams

Doctors caution against exercise in triple-digit heat as temperatures soar in Salt Lake City

Amid extreme heat that set new records Thursday, doctors were cautioning that symptoms of heat-related illnesses and heat stroke could set in within a matter of minutes.

15 hours ago

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and First Lady Olena Zelenska plan to attend a meeting of the Nationa...

Daniel Woodruff

How a ‘surprise’ visit to Utah by Ukraine’s president came together

Jonathan Freedman, president of World Trade Center-Utah and honorary consul of Ukraine in Utah, said this high-profile visit came after about three weeks of hard work. Freedman said Gov. Spencer Cox invited President Zelenskyy to speak to the NGA, which Cox currently chairs.

15 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

young male technician is repairing a printer at office...

Les Olson

Unraveling the dilemma between leasing and buying office technology

Carefully weigh these pros and cons to make an informed decision that best suits your business growth and day-to-day operation. 

A kitchen in a modern farmhouse....

Lighting Design

A room-by-room lighting guide for your home

Bookmark this room-by-room lighting guide whenever you decide to upgrade your lighting or style a new home.

Photo courtesy of Artists of Ballet West...

Ballet West

The rising demand for ballet tickets: why they’re harder to get

Ballet West’s box office is experiencing demand they’ve never seen before, leaving many interested patrons unable to secure tickets they want.

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 internet safety tips for kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why printer security should be top of mind for your business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Ukrainian ballerina takes the stage in local music video benefiting refugees