Cecylia Roznowska

the Grand Marshall of the Polish Constitution Day Parade, 5 May 2007

Biography of Cecylia Roznowska

the Grand Marshall of the Polish Constitution Day Parade, 5 May 2007

      After completing my high school studies, I was fortunate to receive both my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in cultural education in Gdansk, Poland. I finished my choreographic studies in Warsaw, Poland and at the same time took classes that specialized in the distinct dance and culture of the various regions of Poland. My studies focused on the traditional folk art and folk dances from throughout Poland. The academic experience I received in Gdansk was then blended with dance company experiences I had in Warsaw.
      I organized the folk dance ensemble “Warmia” in 1954. Warmia was allowed to compete in European and other folk festivals throughout the world. While teaching choreography at the Academy of Choreography at Lublin University in Lublin, Poland I continued to study folk art and daces. I taught there for fifteen years.
      In 1981, I served as a consultant to Polish folk groups throughout the United States. While working U.S. groups I learned that folk dance, integrated with folk music, folk costumes and traditional language was an integral part of the Polish and Polish American communities.
      When I permanently moved to the United States in 1984, I co-founded the Northwest Center of Traditional Polish Folk Dancers in Chicago, Illinois. This center consists of many groups of dancers. The youngest begins learning the elements of dance at the age of three, and at the same we time we teach them Polish heritage, music and traditions. All of our classes are conducted bilingually. The older students are taught more complex and challenging dances. The students continue into their teens. I have been fortunate to teach choreography to all of our age groups.
      Parents strengthen their own understanding of Polish heritage while enjoying their children’s performances.  The Northwest Center of Traditional Polish Folk Dancers is frequently invited to community activities where we perform a portion of, or the main part of, ethnic or heritage programs. Such performance venues range from small community centers, to suburban libraries and park district facilities to Chicago’s Navy Pier.
      We have participated in programs throughout the world, strengthening the image of the State of Illinois as a supporter of folk art, traditional dance and choreography. In 1994, my groups performed in Polish folk dance festivals in Milwaukee, WI and Winnipeg, Canada, followed by Florida in 1997. In 1998 and 2000 we performed before Pope John Paul II in Italy and in Israel. In 2002 the group participated in the CIOFF Festival in Taiwan, in 2003 at the International Children’s Folk Festival in Poland and in 2004 at the Festival of Nations in Hungary. In 2005 the group was awarded the grand prize at the Youth Folkloria in Bulgaria and participated in the 11th Annual Folk Festival in Poland. The two work samples submitted along with this application where filmed by the organizers of the Euro Folk 2005 Festival in Bulgaria.
      I have been fortunate to receive awards from the Polish government for my work preserving and spreading Polish traditional folk dancing and folk art throughout the world. I received gold and silver medals of merit from the Polish government. I have also received awards from Mayor Daley, Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas, Illinois State Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka and letters of congratulations from former Illinois Governor Jim Edgar.

            I believe that “folk music” and “folk dance” are valuable art forms deserving of recognition and appreciation. Through my work at The Northwest Center of Traditional Polish Folk Dancers, I am able to share this image with the Polish American community and others.   

Education

1956 - Choreography Studies, University of Warsaw, Poland.
           Master’s Degree of Choreography.
1954 – Graduate School of Education in Gdansk, Poland.
           Bachelors and Master’s Degree of Cultural Education. 

Work Experience

2006- Created and taught dance program for “Festidanza” Festival in Peru. Won the main award of the Festival.
2005- Created and taught dance program for Youth Folkloriad Euro Folk in Losenez, Bulgaria. Won Grand Prix of the Festival.
2005- Prepared program and participated in the 2nd International Folk Festival in Brusy, Poland.
2004- Participated in the 14th Annual Festival of Nations in Hungary.
2003- Created and taught program for the International Children’s Folk Festival in Poland.
2002- Prepared program and participated in prestigious CIOFF Festival I-Lan in Taiwan.
1998- Invited to perform for the late Pope John Paul UU in Italy and in Israel.
1997 and 1996- Participated in Polish Folk Dance Festival held in Milwaukee, WI; Winnipeg, Canada; Miami, Fl.
1981- Visited the United States for the first time as a consultant to Polish folk groups throughout the country.
1984-2006 – Founder and leading choreographer of the Northwest Center of Traditional Polish Dancers, Chicago, IL. The Center consists of many smaller groups such as: “Polonia”, “Mala Polonia”, “Chopin”, “Warmia”, “Krasnoludki”. The Center has over 240 students ages 3-23. The Northwest Center of Traditional Polish Dancers performed at many prestigious events, and was recognized by local politicians and personalities.
1979- Participated as a speaker at the 20th International Congress of Dance Educators in Paris, France.
1954- Founded the Folk Dance Ensemble “Warmia” in Olsztyn, Poland. Trained and choreographed the group for 30 years.

Awards and Recognitions 

1984- Gold and Silver Medal of Merit from Polish Ministry of Culture,  Warsaw, Poland.
1984-2006 – Annual recognition letters from Mayor Daley of Chicago , State of Illinois. Treasurer Judy Bar Topinka, and Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas, Chicago, IL.
2002- Medal of Committee of Nation Education, Poland.   

Polonia - Polish Folk Song and Dance Ensemble  -  Chicago USA
Northwest Center Traditional Polish Folk Dancers - 501(c)(3) Non Profi

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