Folk dancing: Ancestral dances of Greece

Greece is one of the few countries in the world where folk dances are as alive today as they were in the ancient times; the younger generation has a way to rediscover their culture.

If you want to get to know a truly authentic side of Rhodes, you must to go and watch some of the publicly performances of the Rhodian traditional folk dances. The true origins have been lost in the mists of time, it is said to represent ancestral beliefs, and costumes handed down from generations to generation. 

However, few people know the sirtaki dance only dates back to the 1960s.  In fact, renowned Greek musician Mikis Theodorakis created the dance for the movie ‘Zorba the Greek’.  It is danced in a line or circle formation, with hands placed on their neighbor’s shoulders. Here are another 6 traditional Greek dances you might know; Hasapiko, Kalamatianos, Pentozali, Tsamiko, Ikariotikos and Zeibekiko.



Folk dancing is performed at local festivals on the island and in some of the hotels with entertainment the Greek way, namely ‘Greek Nights’ with folk dance performances, enjoyed by most!  If you take a moment to home in on the individual steps being performed, you can enjoy how much this style of dance represents a time gone by and how much it represents the culture and customs of generations gone before. 

For example, a complete difference between the movements performed by men and those of the women.  The men are constantly leaping in to the air and making crackling noise with their dance shoes and the click of their fingers, the women following, the men leading.



It is a custom for the Greeks to dance at religious festivals, ceremonies; dancing to ensure fertility; to prepare for war and to celebrate victories; they dance at weddings to overcome depression and to cure physical illness, so they say.  Almost every dance has a story to tell.

The traditional folkdance continues to be passed from generation to generation, which in turns maintains their Greek national identity.

We hope that you get the chance enjoy some upcoming folk dance festivals & celebrations this summer!