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Culture

Archangel Michael Church Dance Program Shines at the FDF in California

February 29, 2024

NEW YORK – The Greek Orthodox Folk Dance & Choral Festival Ministry of the Metropolis of San Francisco is dedicated, through Orthodox Christian Fellowship and committed leadership, to promoting, encouraging and perpetuating the Orthodox faith, Greek heritage and culture among individuals, families and communities by expressing it through folk dance, folk art, music and language.

Following the success of the first two Folk Dance Festivals in 1976 and 1978, on February 10, 1979, a small group of dedicated Greek Orthodox Christians became the first signatories to the original Constitution and By-Laws of the Greek Orthodox Folk Dance & Choral Festival (FDF) and its governing body. Under the leadership of His Eminence Metropolitan Anthony of blessed memory and Peter Preovolos and his family, FDF grew to become the largest youth ministry in the Metropolis of San Francisco.

Over the years the ministry has expanded with participants from across the United States. This year, 47th Annual FDF took place February 15-18. The contingent from Archangel Michael Greek Orthodox Church of Port Washington was the only community from New York to make the cross country trip to participate and made an excellent showing in the competition.

The Archangelos Neolea won first place in the Division 1, Intermediate Advanced Category, while the community’s youngest winners, Archangelos Eftihia, placed fourth in the Division II, Advanced Primary Category.

The community said in a statement to The National Herald that the Archangelos Dance Program of the Greek Orthodox Church of Port Washington, NY, was thrilled to compete in the FDF in Anaheim, California, on February 16. The Program Director, Zaharoula Zogopoulos, led three groups, ages 9-18, earning medals for their outstanding performances of traditional dances of Kastoria, Drama, Thasos, and Samos. Dancers were accompanied by their talented live musicians Endasi (USA) and The Dimitris Paraschos Brass Band (Greece). Eleni Bapis, Fr. John Lardas, teachers and parents supported their dancers unequivocally during their dance journey.

Video of the Archangelos Neolea performing at the FDF is available on YouTube: https://shorturl.at/emwyS.

The Archangel Michael Church’s Greek Dance Troupe was established in 1999 under the direction of Roula Zogopoulos. From community performances to local and travel competitions, the Dance Troupe offers children the opportunity to explore their heritage with their peers and meet other Greeks from around the state and around the country. The Dance Troupe’s intention is to offer students an opportunity to come together and continue our Hellenic traditions. Zogopoulos creates a safe atmosphere in which the community’s young people are inspired, exploring and learning about their Hellenic heritage through our rich dancing and musical traditions. Students who join the Dance Troupe possess a high level of commitment and drive.

The Dance Troupe typically meets every Saturday throughout the school year and welcomes students from ages 5 and up. Children are welcomed and encouraged to try out for competition-level groups who perform in various Greek Dance competitions held locally and across the country. Please note, competition groups require additional practices per week and additional fees also apply.

For more information, email: [email protected].

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