I’ll let you in on a little secret, I had no desire to learn how to Greek dance. Well, not to learn but to join the dance group at the church which by the way, if you are interested in greek dance lessons near you, contacting you local Greek Orthodox church is a good idea. I was shy back then ( shocking, I know!) and the thought of being thrown into a group of people I did not know and most of whom were older and way cooler than I was was terrifying. I was totally fine with Greek dancing at a wedding but having to perform in front of people on a stage? Or in a competition? Are you nuts?
Although I fought my mother on this one tooth and nail, I am glad that she pushed me into it. It was in Greek dance that I met my best friend, and so much more. I am going to share with you the 5 lessons that Greek dance has taught me and perhaps give you a little laugh at my expense.
1.Rhythm. I had no rhythm before I took Greek dance. I wasn’t the one in the back clapping a half beat behind everyone else, but I couldn’t distinguish the instruments in a song or tell you what the rhythm was. And starting at the precise right moment for that Greek line dance? HA! Not happening until after I joined the dance group.
2. Heart means more than anything. This is something that has carried over into bellydance for me. No matter how flashy the steps, if the dancer isn’t feeling the song or the moment, it’s just not the same. If you have heart and you’re truly enjoying yourself, then missing that one step doesn’t matter.
3. Footwork. And More footwork. Where your feet are, where your weight is, are all super important in Greek dance. A lot of times even if bellydance workshops you’ll catch me staring at the instructor’s foot placement. From there, you build up!
4. Group Cohesion. It doesn’t matter if Person A can jump or kick higher, if you’re in a line, everyone need to jump and kick at the same height. The ripple effect is far more compelling when it’s even. Act as one, not a group of soloists.
5. Smile. We were told to smile more times that I can count. Even if you’re cold, even if you hate that bright orange red lipstick, even if the costume is itchy, smile. The audience wants to see that you’re having fun and they can’t read your mind.
Well, there you have it folks! There are 5 of the lessons that I have learned from Greek dance. Have you taken any Greek dance lessons? Do you have your own to share? Please feel free to do so in the comments section below!