powerful  | 

Dancing With The Stars Ireland pro-dancers star in video to raise funds for Ukraine

The pair have choreographed a dance to an emotional Ukrainian song

Ksenia Zsikhotska and John Nolan

Clodagh Meaney

Dancing with the Stars pro-dancers Ksenia Zsikhotska and John Nolan have teamed up to raise funds for Ukraine.

Ukrainian-born Zsikhotska, who appeared on the first three seasons of the show, and Nolan have come together to release a music video to raise funds for a charity working for the people of Ukraine.

The video shows the pair dancing to a well known Ukrainian song, and is dedicated to the people of the country.

As Russia’s invasion continues, the dancer said she wanted to shed a light on the situation from a different angle.

"This is a different spectrum of war at the minute. I wanted to shed a light on the situation from a different angle. Because I'm working with kids a lot now, they know what's going on,” she explained.

"A lot of kids are traumatised and they're finding it hard to understand what's happening and why it's happening."

Nolan explained how he got involved with the project.

"Ksenia rang me on Monday, quite upset understandably, wanting to make this happen," he said.

"If I can try and help money and help awareness, that's the least I can do for what people are going through at the moment.

"I knew the song was very emotional when Ksenia sent it to me, and she described the words to me, it's basically Ukraine singing to the people and its kids, why is this happening and trying to understand it. It really is extremely powerful.

"We're artists, we express ourselves through our dance, so it's easier for us to explain ourselves and our emotions through dance. I think it's a really special piece,” he added.

Like many Ukrainians overseas, Zsikhotska still has family in the country.

"I have family in Ukraine, luckily they're in the west, but who knows. The men can't leave because they might need to fight, it's a difficult situation,” she said.

"They're in a predicament, they can leave through Poland and then from there we can go ahead and pick them up, so there's means and ways of getting them out. To cross the border it's a two-day wait. That's one factor.”

"The second factor is my cousin's husband, he is a mayor of the city and he's in the age range where he could possibly need to be at war,” she said.

“He's trying to collect as much as he can from the east to get to the west. So he's there working and he has to stay regardless.”

"Ukrainians are very proud of their country and leaving is the last thing that they will do, unless they're pushed,” she added.

"People coming from the west, there's no hope for them to survive so they have to get out. We're trying to stick together, we're trying to keep families together.

“I'm constantly on the phone with them to see if they're ok. It's not easy."

You can donate to their fundraiser here.

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