Staten Island youth dance group brings proud Polish heritage to life


The Lajkonik Dance Ensemble of St. Stanislaus Kostka Church in New Brighton poses with the residents of the St. Joseph Home for the Elderly after their performance of traditional Polish dances. (Photo courtesy of Margaret Lorczak)

Editor’s Note: This article is written by the college correspondent for Advance.

STATEN ISLAND, NY – There is a Polish children’s folk song and dance ensemble on Staten Island called “Lajkonik” with a mission to promote Polish culture in the community through traditional folk songs and dances.

Based in St. Stanislaus Kostka Church on York Avenue, the young dancers, aged 6 to 13, attend weekly Polish traditional folk dance lessons under the direction of Margaret Lorczak, Barbara Borejczuk and Monika Borejczuk.

Recently, on June 9, this New Brighton ensemble traveled to New Jersey to delight the residents of St. Joseph’s Senior Home in Woodbridge, NJ with a show of dancing, singing and colorful costumes.

Children performed regional and traditional Polish dances, including Krakowiak and Polka, while the elderly clapped and hummed.

“Our children promote their heritage by entertaining our community and the elderly with beautiful dances and songs from Poland,” said Margaret Lorczak, director of the ensemble. “It is a wonderful and entertaining experience for our children and the elderly.

These talented young dancers from the ensemble are members of the parish and attend the Polish Complementary School to learn the language and culture of their parents and grandparents.

Staten Island teens pose for a photo before performing Polish dances for residents of St. Joseph’s Home for the Aged. (Photo courtesy of Margaret Lorczak)


The history of St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish dates back to 1921, when a pious group of Polish Americans discussed their wish to build a church where they and their families could worship in their native language and educate their children in the wealthy. traditions of Polish Catholicism.

Their initial requests for a Polish church were rejected by the Archdiocese and the Chancellery was not convinced that another parish was needed on Staten Island. Nonetheless, this determined group of Polish Americans persisted in their struggle to build a church.

After further investigation, the Reverend Patrick J. Hayes, Archbishop of New York at the time, granted them permission. On March 12, 1923, he appointed Reverend John A. Gloss as pastor to establish and construct St. Stanislaus Kostka Church in New Brighton.

Today, Polish families still gather here to worship and celebrate their heritage and traditions.

Young dancers from the Lajkonik Dance Ensemble of St. Stanislaus Kostka Church in New Brighton pose after their performance at St. Joseph Senior Home. (Photo courtesy of Margaret Lorczak)

Events to come

St. Stanislaus Kostka Church is holding its 11th annual Polish Festival at Snug Harbor Cultural Center on Sunday June 30 from 12 noon to 8 p.m.

There will be live entertainment with performances by the Polish Children’s Ensemble, Zambrowiacy, and the Zuki Rock and Roll Band. Some attractions include Polish food (pierogies, grilled sausages, casseroles), Polish beer, and an old Polish classic car exhibition.

Tickets cost $ 10 at the door, which includes a raffle ticket. With this ticket you have the chance to win: vacations to Antigua, Barbados and the private island of St. Lucia, 50 inch TV, iPod and various gift cards for restaurants and shops.

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