“Orlęta” Polish Dance Ensemble

Orleta title

Orlęta is a cultural dance group designed for young people aged 3 – 16 years. The aim of the group is to introduce young people to the beautiful music, traditions and folkloric dances of Poland.  Through dance and song Orlęta promotes, among young Polish New Zealanders, a sense of identity as well as a a chance to share their joy of dance with the Greater Wellington community.  Orlętas curriculum  is based on both traditional and contemporary themes and the challenge for our dance instructors is to come up with new and interesting dances for the participants. Orlȩta teachers certainly do that in a refreshing and dedicated way. The children’s joy of dance is testament to this.

Classes

Classes are held on Sundays at Dom Polski, 257 Riddiford St, Newtown, Wellington

 

Group Time Instructor
Pre-school

12:15 – 12:45

Jennifer Hanson
Intermediate

12:45 – 1:45

Jennifer Hanson
Seniors

2:00 – 3:00

Jennifer Hanson

Performances

Each year, Orlęta perform at  Polish national celebrations like Trzeci Maj (celebration of the Polish Constitution on 3rd May), Polish Independence Day (11th November),the Polish Christmas Market, special events and at the annual Polish Festival.

Orlęta is often seen at community festivals and accepts invitations to dance at multicultural and cultural celebrations or special events. The group also performs at a number of rest homes especially where there are Polish residents.

Orlęta has become well known for its original musical theatre. Their latest version of The Wizard of Oz (Czarnoksiȩżnik z Krainy Oz) performed in the Little Theatre in Lower Hutt in 2019. This production can be viewed on Youtube using the following link.  https://youtu.be/exwHg68hyrc

Orleta has participated in a number of International Festivals mainly in Australia. They have represented New Zealand at the Inaugural Polish Childrens Song and Dance Festival in Sydney 2018. They have featured in the major PolArt concerts in Sydney 2003, Hobart 2006, Adelaide 2009,Perth 2012 Melbourne 2015 and Brisbane 2018.

Fundraising

Fundraising has always been one of the Orlęta parents’ group’s major activities. Orlęta have featured in multicultural festivals not only dancing but also selling tasty pierogi and other mouth watering polish foods to raise money for costumes. The fabric for the very first set of costumes was purchased through a lottery grant and sewed by the parents themselves. New costumes are constantly needed to cater for the changing shape and sizes of the children as they grow along with the increasing repertoire of regional dances. Many of the more elaborate costumes are purchased directly from Poland to ensure authenticity.

Contact

Chairperson: Ela Rombel
Principal Teacher: Jennifer Hanson
Address: PO Box 853
Wellington 6140
New Zealand
Email: e.rombel@gmail.com

History

The group was founded in Lower Hutt in 1994 by Ela Rombel and a committee of Polish School parents, The first dance instructor was Basia Mazur, a New Zealander of Polish descent. Orlęta has had a number of instructors over the years. Maria Polaczuk, Tereska Lepionka, Helena Zawada, Melanie Fyfe, Adela Jones, Aniela Reid and Juliet Rombel have all contributed their dance skills and knowledge to the group at various times.