University student shows Greek dancing is ‘more than just the steps’ in video series

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Greek dancing is one of the most ancient forms of dance, expressed through the agile movement of the feet and passion in the voice. While your feet act as the tools, Greek-American university student Sophia Angeletakis says Greek dancing is more than “just the steps”.

“It’s about speaking with your culture and talking through your ancestors,” Sophia says to The Greek Herald.

The video-sharing app ‘TikTok’ showcases many people teaching cultural dances, such as Spanish or Indian. Yet when Sophia searched the app Greek dancing videos, she found nothing.

Because of this, Sophia has taken it upon herself to educate Greeks and non-Greeks about the cultural significance of each Greek dance, along with showing a few steps.

@letsjustgreekdance

Comment below which dance you want to see next!!🇬🇷❤️ ##greekdance ##greekseries ##fyp ##greektiktok ##greece ##culturaldances

♬ original sound – letsjustgreekdance

“I started the account to teach people about Greek history and culture,” Sophia says.

“It talks about the cultural side of Greek dance and also the history of it, ending with a tutorial of how to do it. So you kind of get a short summarised version and it will introduce you to different styles and regions of Greek dance.”

It’s impossible to go to a Greek wedding or function and not find the entire room dancing the Zebekiko and Kalamatiano. With each of these dances, the steps symbolise and celebrate a unique aspect of Greek history and culture.

Sophia Angeletakis won the top prize in the First Step Grand Challenge competition for her courtyard garden collaboration with Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children.

Having a passion for Greek dance herself, Sophia finds it important to educate the next generation on the history of these celebrations.

“As we all go to the modern age and we’re getting older and kids are learning about Greek culture, they’re learning a lot from other people, and not so much the history side of it. I think its important Greeks educate themselves on why it’s important to keep that culture,” Sophia says.

Sophia’s TikTok account has proved to be popular among people on the app, collecting over 20 thousand views on her account with only three videos posted.

@letsjustgreekdance

Comment below which region/dance I should do next!🇬🇷❤️ ##greek ##greekdance ##greektiktok ##greece ##fyp

♬ original sound – letsjustgreekdance

Sophia has so far presented the Kalamatiano and highlighted the history of Greek dancing in the Pontus region.

“Greek dance is a huge part of Pontian culture,” Sophia says.

“So by summarising it I also want to make sure I’m conserving that authentic history and the trauma those people went through. But also educate people that aren’t Greek about the Pontian genocide.”

Sophia is a student at the University of Delaware and recently won the 2020 George and Margaret Collins Seitz Award for her courtyard garden collaboration with Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children. The “Can Grow” Garden, once an unused courtyard, is now a therapeutic outdoor space for hospital patients and staff that also provides fresh produce and vegetable plants to patients and their families.

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