Polish Heritage Dancers-About Us



The Polish Heritage Dancers (PHD) began its history in 1997under the direction of Michelle Michalski Kisluk. There was a strong interest in Polish Folk Dancing among children, teens, and their parents it the community, so she decided to take it upon herself to start a new group in Buffalo.

The organization is named the “Polish Heritage Dancers” because:

  • It’s to the point and people know right a way that we represent Poland.
  • Second, it is easy to pronounce for those who are not fluent in Polish
  • Finally, we are proud of our heritage and are trying to educate others that may not be familiar with the customs and traditions of Poland.

Practices began in October 1997. The first practice was held at St. Casimir’s Church Hall thanks to Monsignor Kopacz who let them use the church’s facilities until a permanent practice site was found. Their first performance was October 27, 1997 at the Marine Midland Arena for the 150th Anniversary of the Diocese of Buffalo. After October practices were moved to Sacred Heart in Orchard Park and finally to our permanent site at the West Seneca Community Center in March of 1998.

Not only is dancing taught, but we like to include singing in Polish and learning about traditions as well. We perform throughout Western New York at various festivals, parties, parades, nursing homes, and adult residences. The group is fully costumed in the traditional costuming of Krakowski region.. In 1999 the ball gown and soldier uniform was made for the youth group, as well as, Slask costumes for the children’s group. In 2000 we acquired a set of Cieszyn costumes donated by the Woczczak family for the youth group and Beskid costumes were created for the intermediate group.

We are members of the Polish Folk Dance Association of the Americas which was organized in 1983 to strengthen the network of Polish Dance organizations in the Western World. Six members of our group went to the North American Polish Folk Dance Festival in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in June of 2000. They attended dance workshops from the region of Sieradz, Krakow, Rzeszow, and Podhale. PHD is also a member of the Polish American Congress in Buffalo.

As a nonprofit organization, donations from performances, monthly dues, and our fundraising efforts are used to cover operational expenses as well as costuming, music, props, etc.

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