Elena Labartkava has graduated from the Odessa State University in Ukraine with a Master of
Fine Arts and Geography degree in 1986. In 1998 she has received a Degree in Education from Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax, NS.
Her early training in character dance was in Ukraine and Russia. She was a member and performer with the professional dance company in Odessa for almost 15 years.
During that time she was touring and performing in Poland, Croatia, Finland, Spain, and France with a folk ballet repertoire.
Her professional career has included work as an independent choreographer, dance artist, costume designer and artistic/musical director.
She established Souvenir Folk Dance Ensemble in 1993 at the Maritime Conservatory in Halifax. In 2018 Elena received an Award from the Board of Governors of the Maritime Conservatory of Performing Arts for her outstanding contribution to the school of dance during the celebration of the 25th anniversary of her unique group.
Elena has been teaching at the Maritime Conservatory for many years. Her teaching style is to create dances from different countries and cultures and transform her passion to her students of all ages and levels.