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Ukrainian couple who escaped war now teaching ballet in Northwest Arkansas

While touring in the U.S. for "Swan Lake," Ukrainian couple, 28-year-old, Anastasia Rodina and 29-year-old, Arno Tsembenhoi learned there was trouble at home.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Millions of Ukrainians have left their home country for safety after the Russian invasion, with some seeking shelter in Northwest Arkansas.

While touring coast to coast in the United States for "Swan Lake," Ukrainian couple, 28-year-old, Anastasia Rodina and 29-year-old, Arno Tsembenhoi learned there was trouble back home.

“Putin started war in our country," Tsembenhoi said. “He started bombing our houses.”

They escaped from their home country of Ukraine as bombs and guns killed loved ones.

“Many of our friends have died,” Tsembenhoi said. “Some of them killed because they was doing some humanitarian aid.”

For the past two months, Rodina and Tsembenhoi have been coming to the Arkansas Arts Academy in Springdale around four days a week to teach and take ballet lessons.

“To stay here, to find a job, to continue dance is really important," Tsembenhoi said. “So, we enjoy that we enjoy that.”

The couple can stay in Northwest Arkansas thanks to the help from the Ozark Ballet Theater which aided in providing them with a place to live and a job teaching students and professionals.

Anastasia does not speak English so, Tsembenhoi translates for her and explains dance moves in her notebook to ballerinas.

The couple will give a special performance at the Don Tyson School of Innovation in Springdale on May 7 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. and again on Sunday, May 8 at 2 p.m.

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