Pat Prokopchuk and I met through my sister who knew Pat through her dance school, Oriental Dance Arts. I was having an extremely difficult time finding a wise woman to fill the role of the crone for this shoot and one of my stipulations was that she have long hair. My sister said that Pat was the perfect woman for the job!
It was really important to me to have age diversity in this shoot. We do not see enough women represented in mid-life and beyond. And one of my challenges in finding someone to fit this role was that many women are not comfortable being in front of the camera and visibly taking up space in the digital world.
Pat owns and operates Oriental Dance Arts. Having a background in belly dancing and ethnic dance arts allowed her to get the vision for this shoot immediately. She has incredible body awareness and knew how to position herself in many of the photos. Despite some scheduling hurdles, Pat’s willingness to make this project work was incredible.
Pat was our wise elder, I think I speak for everyone involved when I say we all just wanted to be near her and soak up all the beauty that she offers. Her confidence and the depth of knowing who she is profoundly impacted me. Doing this project with her has made me so excited to get to the place in life that she’s in. It made me wholly embrace getting older and allowed me to step more fully into my own essence.
Pat is truly a priestess of the highest regard. It was such an honor to work with her. Every time I look at photos of her from this project, I get goosebumps. She is pure magic!
Pat is the founder and director of Oriental Dance Arts of Saskatoon, circa 1983 ; a collective of community-involved dancers, teachers, and students that explore and celebrate the dances and cultures of the Middle East, Near East, and Asia Minor. Current members are male, female, and youth from 6 to 70 years old that enjoy various aspects of multicultural bellydance, Persian dance, and Sufi whirling. Design and creation of dance costuming to complement these dances.
She is a volunteer in Skiing for Disabled under the Saskatchewan Ski Association, the provincial sport governing body for winter skiing, circa 1978.
Pat is a former member of SCWIST (Society of Canadian Women in Science & Technology), which gave personal empowerment for entrepreneurship to collect a team of professionals to design, fabricate and make available several configurations of cross country sit skiis for folks with physical disabilities.
Pat is a continuing student and advocate of homeopathic medicine.