Should you do Traditional Greek Dances at Your Wedding?

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Happy Greek dancerWhile planning your wedding, you’ll need to decide what kind of music to play at your reception. This will also help determine what kind of dancing will be done. For Greeks all over the world, the major decision is whether or not to play modern music or traditional Greek music. Inevitably, traditional Greek dancing accompanies the traditional music. Do you really want to do some of the older Greek dances or would you rather keep everything modern? Here’s some advice that will help you decide.

Embrace Your Cultural Heritage

By performing these traditional dances, you will share your cultural heritage with your wedding guests. Many of these dances have been around for centuries in some form. Though specific aspects of them may have changed, the basics have stayed the same. This means when you dance the steps, you show that you are just as much a product of Greece’s past as you are alive in the present. What better place to express this than at your own wedding?

This type of dancing is part of an ancient tradition that is cited by the likes of Plato and Aristotle. Though the specifics of these ancient dances aren’t known, it is easy to imagine that some of these steps were similar. Today, dancing is done in Greece in a social capacity.

Dancing the Traditional Wedding Dance

Even if you decide not to include traditional Greek dancing at your wedding, you may want to consider at least including the dance that is usually done by the bridal party. The dance itself is the kalamatiano, one of the most common dances. However, the song is special. It’s called Oreia Pou Ine Nifi Mas, which means, How Beautiful the Bride Is.

The bride takes the lead and uses it as a way to show off her dancing skills. The leader often deviates from the regular steps and skillfully adds spins, turns kicks, and other artistic elements. The groom is usually second, and his role is to keep the regular steps while giving his new wife center stage. If your bridal party doesn’t know the dance, you’ll want to teach them before your wedding.

Greek Music for Traditional Dancing

In Greece, traditional dancing is most often use for social occasions. There are a few basic dances to choose from. These are the kalamatiano, hasapiko, syrtaki, syrto, zeibekiko, and the tsamiko. Each dance is set to a different type of music and has its own steps. If you decide to have Greek dancing at your wedding, you should include a mix of songs so that guests can enjoy all these dances.

What if your guests don’t know how to do most of the dances? Well, you can teach them. Let them know that it’s socially acceptable for beginners to join the end of the line. Tell them not to worry if they don’t know the steps, as long as they’re having fun. Eventually, they’ll learn how to do it just be watching the other dancers. You can also spend some time teaching them.

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This post was written by GreekBoston.com

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