Contact: Eleni Papouras-Jenks Phone: (440) 331-2246.
Almost since the founding of St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Rocky River, young parishoners have learned folk dances for church festivals and Greek School programs. Over the years, the heritage of Greek dancing has been taught by Greek school teachers such as Vicky Papouras, Litta Klidas and Helen Papadorotheou, as well as young women who had been dancers themselves.
In 1999, one such alumnus, Eleni Papouras, took over the reigns of the dance group, along with Kathy (Ntakos) Katrakazos and Irene Steffas, 2 transplanted Toledo girls, who brought dances from that parish's excellent group into our repertoire. In 2001, Olga Asimou took over for Kathy and Irene as assistant director. And in 2003, the group even had a visiting co-instructor, Staci Lagouteris, who taught the group several new dances done by the dance group in Orlando, Florida.
Since 1999, the group has expanded its performance schedule to include the annual Greek Independence Day Parade, IOCC picnics, the 2000 Greek-themed Home and Flower Shower at the IX Center, Lake Ridge Academy’s annual Culturefest, Greek Family Day at the Cleveland Museum of Art in 2003 and Middle Bass Island’s Fine Arts Festival in 2004.
Our goal is to preserve the rich musical and dance heritage of all the regions of Greece and the Greek diaspora by teaching our dancers the pride of performing, while also acting as ambassadors to the Greater Cleveland community. We welcome opportunities to perform at weddings and other parish functions, as well as multi-ethnic cultural events in the community at large.
Dancers must be at least 7 years of age at the time of registration. Registration is held every fall, for those wanting to participate in the festival the following June. The Junior Group is composed of children ages 7-12. The Senior Group is ages 13 and up, with no age limit.
Rehearsals usually take place on Sundays, during the coffee hour. Extra weekday rehearsals are scheduled and announced prior to various events. Practices for the festival begin in April, with daily rehearsals starting when schools close.
Dancers must attend at least half (50%) of the scheduled rehearsals for any given event in order to be eligible to perform.