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Oakleigh Greek Community launches Greek Dance Academy

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The Greek Orthodox Community of Oakleigh and District (Community) for almost 60 years has played an integral role in preserving the Greek Orthodox faith and Greek language. The Community now aims to extend services to include traditional Greek dance.

This will be a free service offered by the Community to students of Sts Anargiri Greek Language Centre and Oakleigh Grammar.

Background to Greek traditional dance

Dance, according to (Classical) Greek thought, was one of the civilizing activities, like winemaking and music.

Greek dances (horos) is a very old tradition, being referred to by authors such as Plato, Aristotle, Plutarch and Lucian.

There are different styles and interpretations from all of the islands and surrounding mainland areas. Each region has formed its own choreography and style to fit in with their own ways. For example, island dances have more of a different smooth flow to them, while Pontic dancing closer to Black Sea, is very sharp.

There are over 10,000 traditional dances that come from all regions of Greece. There are also Pan- Hellenic dances, which have been adopted throughout the Greek world. These include syrtos, kalamatianos, pyrrhichios, hasapiko and sirtaki.

Traditional Greek dancing has primarily a social function. It brings the community together at key points of the year, such as Easter, the grape harvest, or patronal festivals; and at key points in the lives of individuals and families, such as weddings.

For this reason, tradition frequently dictates a strict order in the arrangement of the dancers, for example, by age. Visitors tempted to join in a celebration should be careful not to violate these arrangements, in which the prestige of the individual villagers may be embodied.

Greek dances are usually performed in diaspora Greek communities and among international folk dance groups.

Aim and operation of the Dance Academy

Specialist dance instructors will conduct lessons specific to the region they specialise in. There will be a rotating roster of dances covered in a two-to-three-month rotation, which will be dependent on demand and instructor availability.

Dance lessons will be conducted according to demand and numbers.

The aim is to have a performing group which will represent the Community at internal and external events.

The dance lessons will take place every Thursday from 6.30 to 8.00 pm with times of each level to be confirmed once registrations have been received. The suitable age for beginners is 5 years and older.

All organisers and instructors will hold a valid Working with Children Check.

Importance of dance

  • Like any other form of art, dance is a mode of expression.
  • It is great exercise.
  • Children learn cooperation and teamwork.
  • Dancers enter society with the ability to maintain the uncompromising high standards nurtured during their dance training.
  • Creative thinking skills are developed,
  • Learning the value of discipline, commitment, and work ethic.
  • Self-confidence is developed as young people overcome challenges to master new goals, learning to apply themselves and accomplish any task put before them.
  • Children learn about music, rhythm and beat.
  • Social skills are developed, and children learn the importance of being part of a team.
  • Children learn to take turns, to share attention, and to cooperate with others as they work with a group

Enrolment details

If you would like to register your child/ren’s participation in the Dance Academy, please complete the following details for each separate child and email: info@stsanargiriglc.vic.edu.au (one email per family):

  • Name of child (first name and surname):
  • Date of birth and age of child
  • School: Sts Anargiri/Oakleigh Grammar/Other
  • Name of parent contact:
  • Parent contact phone number:
  • Emergency contact phone number

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