The Charlotte Greek Festival in North Carolina draws people for the food, from gyros to main dishes to baklava, but the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral dancers are just heavenly too.
The event has made the church the fourth largest parish in the country, said WFAE Charlotte, and the church-affiliated folk dance program run by Stacie Peroulas is the biggest, and for good reason too.
The dance troupe is so good that the site said it could be a model for other Greek churches around the country to bring people back, many facing big declines in attendance and loss of interest.
The report said experts in the evolution and health of faith groups say events which create bonds and build community are an essential way to reach churchgoers and engage them and are a key tactic to maintain engagement.
“Greek culture is for the world,” Peroulas said. “It’s not just for Greeks. There’s so much rooted in Greek history and Greek culture that translates – it’s all about hospitality and community and bringing people together. And that’s sort of what a lot of us are missing right now.”