Ukrainian Dance is recognised and highly appreciated throughout the world for its energetic, entertaining and characteristic movements.

The Verchovyna Dance Ensemble prides itself on its traditional folk attire. The simplicity of form, the richness and variety of embroidery and the particular colour schemes of all the various regions astound and captivate audiences whenever the dancers take to the stage.

This impressive costume collection, amassed over four decades, is the result of many dedicated teams of volunteers and individuals, tirelessly sourcing, designing and tailoring for Verchovyna.

Traditional attire for each region of Ukraine has several variations but maintains the same essence. Verchovyna’s vast collection of costumes displays these variations.

Central Ukraine

No dance embodies the character of Ukraine better than Hopak; flamboyant, colourful and lively. A richly embroidered shirt, woven plakhta wrapped around an embroidered edged petticoat, beautifully fitted kersetka and a colourful headdress of traditional flowers with long flowing ribbons, adorns each female dancer. The kozaky (males) wear brightly coloured billowing pants called sharovary along with a wide, contrasting coloured sash and an embroidered shirt. Red boots complete the attire.

Central Ukraine

The standard Cossack attire for male dancers, as worn in Hopak, features widely across the region. The female costume is far more varied. In the dance Kozachok, the female dancer leads her male partner. Competitions between groups of dancers frequently occur. The female dancers signal movement changes by clapping beautifully combined rhythms wearing lightly embroidered flowing shirts with flared skirts. A traditional garland of flowers with ribbon completes the costume.

Central Ukraine

When young children perform a dance from Poltava, the young boys wear similar shirts and sharovary as the older males.

The young girls on the contrary, wear a floral and flared skirt over a petticoat with an embroidered edge along with an embroidered blouse.

Exquisite arrangements of flowers and wide red ribbons worn as a headband with a delightful red bow, sit on the nape of the neck.


The hopping, and spinning steps are characteristic of this region and are emphasized by the swish of the women’s skirts.

Ruffled skirts, embroidered collared shirts with a bezrukovka (scalloped vest), completed with an embroidered namitka (kerchief) of fine white cloth is worn by the female dancers. Male dancers wear an embroidered shirt worn over narrow, striped woven pants. The costume is finished with a braided vest and a sash with tassels.


Dances from the Polissia region are characteristically very bouncy, having repetitive tapping and stamping movements with emphasis on high knee and leg movement.

The costumes incorporate white, red, and beige as the main colours, and female dancers often wear an apron and a vest. The men’s costume consists of white pants underneath a long shirt with embroidered collar, cuffs and front placket, and finished off with a woven sash.


Hutsul region dances are extremely lively with much energy, spirited circular patterns and spinning couples.

Movements are short, sharp and fast with a twisting motion. Woven attire; keptar (vests) ornamented with fine leather appliqué and colourful woollen embroidery, while male dancers can also wear a serdak (jacket) on top; depicts the style of clothing worn in this cooler climate mountainous region.


Dances from this region are lively, energetic, and characterized by high stepping and intricate tight foot stamping combinations.

Female dancers wear embroidered shirts, long narrow white petticoats and dark woven skirts hooked up on one side and tucked into the woven belt which sits tightly around the waist. They are adorned with an ornate headdress. Male dancers wear narrow pants with long embroidered shirts and wide leather belts.

Transcarpathian – Zakarpattia

From the Zarkarpattia region of western Ukraine, Bereznianka is a dance of celebration performed at weddings; a fast-paced controlled dance of short, sharp movements and a waving handkerchief. Female dancers wear beautifully embroidered shirts, wide flowing petticoats, flared skirts, a sash and a white namitka (kerchief) on their heads. Male dancers wear narrow pants, an embroidered shirt, vests decorated with appliqué, dark boots and carry a stick with colourful ribbons.


Dances such as Deviatka from the region of Podillia, date back to the 19th century folk Kadryl originating in Khmelnytsk.

The dancers take large, striding steps and include intricate stamping combinations that are completed with poise and control at a moderate pace.

Male dancers wear an ornamental dark svyta (a jacket with lapels) and a dark fur hat and boots. The headdress for female dancers is typically adorned with a beautiful garland of flowers.


This region’s style of dance is light-hearted but lively. Female dancers wear a shirt with minimal embroidery (so too does the male version) tucked into a wide flaring patterned skirt with coloured ribbon bands and a contrasting apron. Sometimes, the skirt is finely pleated. A delicately embroidered white kerchief headdress and an ornamented vest complete the costume. Male dancers wear simple white shirts and pants, and vests embroidered with a nature motif (flowers, twigs, buds, leaves).


Female dancers wear an embroidered shirt with a horbotka (a wrap skirt) which has woven and woollen stripes. A wide sash is wrapped around the waist and an embroidered headpiece similar to a crown, decorated with pom poms and a red sash at the back, is worn in dances such as Holubka. Male dancers wear narrow red pants with an embroidered shirt and an ornate keptar (vest), as well as a decorative serdak (jacket) slung around the shoulders.


The Boyko region lies in the central and western half of the Carpathian Mountains.

Traditionally, people from this region were farmers and trading merchants. Dances depict the spirited nature of the Boyko people. Their characteristic clothes are the felt vest worn by both men and women. Skirts are predominately light in colour, ornamented with pleats and folds. A head wrap or scarf is also worn.