Media, PA – Greek Island dance lessons were the focus of Instructor Ari Yortzidis this past Saturday. Yortzidis was invited to Philadelphia by the Pan-Macedonian Association, to get folks familiar with the various dances from the Islands, an area many Philadelphians wanted to get to know better. “Pontian, Macedonian, and mainland Greek dancing is very popular in the metro area, but we wanted to get to know Island dancing better,” said Philip Voutsakis of the Pan-Macedonian Association.
The event was open to anyone to the public and attracted a variety of attendees of all ages, as was evident from the participants seen on Saturday. Susan Darkash and Albana Tsarkova from the area, love Balkan dance and especially love Greek dancing. “Greek dancing resonates emotionally”, said Tsarkova. “I was very impressed with the hospitality and how well organized this event was”, said Darkash.
Throughout the morning dance lessons, Ari Yortzidis paused not only to teach the steps, but to explain the history of each dance. A map was brought out to show where the dance was from and then he describe how it’s performed today. “I was very impressed with the dance instructor as well,” said Darkash.
Ari Yortzidis has been dancing since he was a small boy. He launched his company The Byzantio Greek Dance and Cultural Arts Program, which is dedicated to promoting, encouraging, and perpetuating Greek heritage and culture through folk dance, art, music, and song. Based in the Greater Metropolitan DC area and affiliated with the St. Katherine Greek Orthodox Church in Fall Church, VA, Byzantio teaches its participants the art and history of Greek folk dance, song, music, and costume as well as prepare them for opportunities to share and perform to the local community and beyond.