Santorini Summer School

Greek Folk Dance workshop 2016 - Santorini, Greece

Cultural seminars HCC Santorini – GREEK FOLK DANCE WORKSHOP

“When Dancing, the Body writes down on the Earth what your Soul wants to say”

Greek Folk Dance workshop 2016 - Santorini, Greece

25/3/2016-30/3/2016 (a 6-day workshop)

Be part of “communitas”, a sense of community constructed through folk dance!

Greek Folk Dance workshop 2016 - Santorini, Greece



Dance in Greece is an everyday lived experience during community events. Most celebrations often include dancing together with eating and drinking, and also singing. We are a group of dancers who want to have fun together by dancing our favourite dances and by learning more folk Greek dances from Crete, Macedonia, Aegean islands, Pontos, Thrace, Cappadocia and elsewhere. We will also sing the songs and learn their stories.   We will meet local people and celebrate with them on a magical island, where culture’s authenticity meets nature’s marvellous secrets.

A non – formal   workshop on Greek Folk Dances intended for

·         Travellers who want to explore in depth the place they visit through meeting local people,   

·         Beginners and intermediate amateur dancers,

·         Members and staff of dance associations in Greece and abroad

·         Teachers - educators who want to use Dance as a means for their students to explore a culture 

What is the series of Greek Folk Dance workshops by the HCC?                                                      

The course ““When Dancing the Body writes down on the Earth what your Soul wants to say”   is a part of a series of Greek Folk Dance courses for people who want to be introduced to the art of Greek Dance as a means to explore the notion of collectivity, by professional dance teachers in the marvellous Santorini island, which is the most beautiful island of the Mediterranean Sea and one of the 10 most beautiful islands in the world. 

This is the first of a series of Greek Folk Dance courses, which include thematic workshops based on the dance origin, to be held every year in Santorini, Greece, during spring   and / or autumn.  

The concept

During this six-day retreat in the spectacular environs of Santorini, you will have the opportunity to explore the possibilities that Greek Folk Dance offers in order to enjoy the Greek way of life, which is full of living traditions, fests and songs. In addition you will taste the beauty of the landscape,   the vibrant culture of the volcanic villages, and the gastronomy of this magical island, which is one of the most delicious in Greece.  

Group field trips and free time allow you to explore Santorini   in order to discover the unique island’s culture and landscapes, to meet the friendly residents of its villages outside the “high touristic” season, to visit local farms with fava, herbs, vines and cherry tomatoes (all unique products of Santorini), as well as photo / painting exhibitions, a winery, the Archaeological Museum and the oldest archaeological settlement in the Mediterranean Sea, Akrotiri. 

Aim of the course 

Ø  Understanding the Dance Culture in Greece

Ø  Learn the essential secrets of a dancer of Greek Folk Dances in a short time

Ø  Experience the culture of a unique place  through a more personal way

Ø  Find a more in depth connection with  the human and natural environment




 The course’s focus is not merely on the technical aspect of dancing but also on your cultural knowledge gained through your possible acquaintance with different dancing  styles.  The everyday programme commence with two classroom sessions followed by visits in the field at some of the island’s most stunning locations, where we are going to learn about Greek Culture and the contemporary challenges in Greece.


You will attend every day a short introduction by the trainers. You will be offered guidance and personal support.  The sessions will be video recorded, so that you will take with you back home at no extra charge. You will be involved in different cultural activities such as singing the lyrics of the songs we dance, preparing food to eat while dancing, participating in a local fest.



During the course, you will: 


Ø  Create a safe environment in the group of dancers through group - dynamics activities

Ø  Learn dances coming from Macedonia, Ionian islands, Aegean islands (Cyclades, Dodecanese, Crete, North Aegean, Sporades ), Sterea Ellada, Epirus, Peloponnese, Cappadocia and Asia Minor :

Ø  Be introduced in different dance styles  around Greece through  a power point presentation and discussions

Ø  Learn techniques how to dance Greek Folk dances   

Ø  Be introduced to the Greek culture and everyday life


Equipment: you need to bring with you light clothes and a hat for the sun.

Working languages: English, Spanish, Greek



Dates:  25/3/2016-30/3/2016

Time schedule:   The programme contains 40 hours over 6 days.  Courses and cultural visits and activities will take place in the morning and in the afternoon (usually 09.30- 13.30 and 17.00-20.00).  In case weather does not permit dancing and working outdoor, we will work indoor.

For detailed programme please check here


Cultural activities included:  

  • presentation on  Santorini’ s history and culture
  • visit to the Tsambouna Instruments Museum La Ponta
  • visit to a local Dance Association
  • visit to the  Akrotiri prehistoric settlement and 
  • the Archeological Museum of Fira with the frescos of Akrotiri
  • visit to a local winery for a wine tasting session. 
  • excursion to the picturesque village of Oia is also included.


Minimum number of participants: 12 




Fees: 360 euro, which includes the course fee for 40 hours of activities, all materials for the course  needed,  museum tickets, transfer on the island, excursion to Oia,  preparation of participants, follow-up activities, Certificates of attendance, visit to a winery and wine tasting, visit  to a local Dance Association, two archeological sites, and to a local farm.





Accommodation, food and other expenses


Accommodation and food is not included in the price.  However, should participants want, the course leader can organize half board or full board and accommodation (in single or double rooms) at the prices below: 


Accommodation (6 nights, in double room, arrival 25/3/16- departure 31/3/16) and breakfast is organized in the STAR hotel, Megalochori, and lunch- dinner will be held in different taverns of the village. The price for accommodation and food is 325 euro for 6 nights. Transfer from and to the airport is free of charge, in case you arrive between 10.00-22.00 h. In case you prefer a single room, it can be arranged at a small  extra cost.  





You can reach Santorini (Thira) by boat from Piraeus (ticket: 38 euro) or by plane from Athens (check Ryanair Athens – Santorini return flights for 50 euro! Retrieved on 10/1/16) or through direct flights from many European cities. 



The organiser is the Hellenic Culture Centre a leading institution specialised in organising language and cultural programmes for non native speakers and educational programmes for adults since 1995. Our philosophy is making learning fun through group dynamics activities, a well based on our experience methodology, and outdoor education. Mrs Ifigenia Georgiadou is the person responsible for the cultural programmes. She is working for over 30 years on educational and cultural projects at the HCC and other institutions.

The trainers are Mr. Manolis Giatsidis and Mr. Apostolos Psarros, dance teachers and researchers.

  Manolis Giatsidis,  grew up in Kato Porroia, a small village in the prefecture of Serres. Living in a family with a thracian father and a pontian mother he learnt the traditional dances of his village in an experiential way. He studied Mechanical Engineering in the University of Zaragoza in Spain, where he also teaches Modern Greek in the Center of Modern Languages of the University of Zaragoza. He has been offering dance lessons through the Greek-Spanish cultural association “Panselinos”, in Zaragoza as well as in several cultural institutes and universities around Spain. He organizes every year recitals of Greek songs and music, seminars and festivals of traditional Greek dances and a wide variety of events and activities about Greek language and culture.He speak Greek, Spanish and English.

Apostolos Psarros (who is also a Doctoral Naval Engineer) comes from Koronos in Naxos and has been teaching dance since 1995.He is the leading dancer at the “Student Dance Association” of Athens, and teaches dance in Naxian dance groups in Athens. His specialty is the research and instruction of the dances of Aegean (especially the Cycladic dances). In the framework of this effort he established the “Student Dance Association” (in April of 2002), aiming at teaching Greek local tradition (dances, songs etc) through seminars and lessons to local dance groups, creating a dance group on professional standards which would promote, the research carried out by its members, and participating in dance and ethnography conferences and present Greek dances on a regular basis in festivals, in cultural conferences and other events.  





Before the course,   you will   receive   information for the course group (trainers, organizers and organizing institution, other participants). Organizers will be responsible for sending all the necessary information regarding the venue and the trip. All the above will be communicated via e-mail and Drop Box.  You will be asked to describe your expectations from the course and your possible experience, if any, on Greek dances.  



Upon completion of the course, participants will be encouraged to form a network on a Social Media closed group, which will function as a meeting point. Within this network, they will be able to exchange ideas receive comments from the trainer and their colleagues, and propose different ways and ideas to move further in  organizing more dance workshops. In case you are a teacher, your students are welcome to participate.     





Your friends can join you in this learning experience at the cost of accommodation and food, plus a small extra cost for transfer and tickets. In case you are a teacher, your students are welcome to participate too, as guests / visitors.