Traditional Greek Dancing on Mykonos: The Past and Present

Traditional Greek dancing is deeply rooted in the Greek culture and dates back to the ancient times. Greeks love to dance, anytime and anywhere.  Dancing has always been a great reason to bring people together — at weddings, engagement, baptisms, and certain religious holidays. Greeks gather to celebrate by drinking, eating and dancing of course.


Traditional Greek Dancing on Mykonos 

Vasilis Antoniou has a passion for traditional Greek dancing. Growing up on Mykonos he recalls his best memories of the traditional feasts which inspired him to pursue traditional Greek dancing professionally. We sat down with him to learn more about his journey and how he has brought together a group of individuals who share the same admiration for traditional Greek dancing.


1. What are your best memories of growing up on Mykonos? 

VA: Our best memories of growing up on Mykonos are the Mykonian traditional feasts. Old musicians playing traditional instruments, everybody dancing until the morning!


2. What inspired you to start dancing professionally?

VA: Professional dancers from the past that used to dance at Greek bars and taverns on Mykonos, inspired us to start dancing.

3. Are the Mykonians still dancing and singing to the traditional songs or have the trends changed now that the island has become more cosmopolitan? 

VA: Mykonos may be a cosmopolitan island, but for the Mykonians it is a small village. We have a big company of musicians and dancers that continue to get together playing old traditional songs, dancing and singing!


4. Tell us how you got the idea of starting your dance group?

VA: We love old Greek traditional songs and dancing to it, that’s how we started the group! We wanted to keep the local traditions alive despite the changing trends.

5. Where on the island do you perform other than at private parties and events?

VA: Everywhere! Whether it is a restaurant, bar, beach or private villa.


6. Tell us about your favourite songs and what is special about them? 

VA: Our favorite songs are Rebetika. These and the Portuguese Fados are the only old music in Europe, which was born in the cities! Rebetiko is not just music, but a lifestyle.

7. What do the visitors like most about the traditional island folklore music and dancing? Is it easy for them to learn the steps?

VA: It is impressive for tourists to see authentic Rebetiko players and local dancers! For some dances, we ask them to dance with us. It’s really easy to learn the basic steps. Even if you haven’t danced to Greek traditional songs before, you just have to have an open mind to go with the flow and enjoy.

Vasilis Antoniou and his team have performed at Villa Hurmuses on a few occasions. Have you experienced traditional Greek dancing on Mykonos? OPA! Join us for a fun summer on Mykonos. 

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