Crystal Dushkin

Crystal DushkinCrystal Dushkin teaches Traditional Unangax^ Dance at the Urban Unangax^ camp. Her love for dance and culture reflects in her teaching style as she captivates her students. She incorporates language and history as students learn several dances which they perform at the end of camp. Students learn dances and songs created by Atxam Taligiisniikangis (Atka Dancers) and dances created under the guidance of Mrs. Dushkin and Ethan Petticrew during APIA Dance Camps in 2003 and 2004.

Mrs. Dushkin was born and raised in Atka, Alaska and is the Cultural Affairs Director for the Native Village of Atka IRA Tribe. She is an original member of the Atxam Taligisniikangis and performs with the group in events throughout Alaska and the United States. She helped create the distinctively original dances and songs performed by the Atxam Taligisniikangis, whose style is emulated by many preceding Unangax dance groups today. As a junior high student in Atka, Crystal researched drum beats, lyrics, and movements to help revitalize the lost art of Unangax^ dance. During this time she also began to learn her heritage language. To this day she continues to work with her mother and other speakers in Atka, aspiring to become a fluent speaker. She is considered by many as the youngest speaker of Unangam Tunuu.

 

She is very active in the Unangax^ community and shares her knowledge of dance and language through culture camps, classes, and community events. She was instrumental in the formation of the Sand Point Cultural Camp where she has been teaching since its inception in 1998. She has taught dance at two of APIA’s dance camps, at Akutan’s Camp Qigiigun, Unalaska’s Camp Qungaayux^ and at several communities within the Aleutian Pribilof Islands region.