Learn to Dance For a Big Fat Greek Wedding

If you’ve seen “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”, then you know that Greek folk dancing is a blast! From the outside, it probably looks a little complicated. There are many different Greek folk dances that are set to particular types of music. A few Greek dances might be too difficult to jump right into, but there is one dance in particular that is very easy to learn and always performed at parties and festivals. Put on your dancing shoes, you’re ready to learn to dance in the Greek folk style!

How To Dance With the Greeks

The first thing to know about Greek folk dancing is how it works. Greek dancing is done in a line, with people lining up from right to left. The “leader” of the dance will almost always be on the right. This lineup, dancing to the right, transforms into a large circle. Once this circle is formed, the leader of the line and the person dancing at the end will be near each other.

Do We Hold Hands?

For most Greek dances, people in a line will hold hands regardless of the gender of the person next to them. There are a few dances where the dancers put their hands on the shoulders of the people next to them (such as the dancing made popular in the film “Never On Sunday”). Many times I see people with no Greek dance experience attempt to hold onto the shoulders of the people next to them. This typically isn’t necessary. Hand-holding is normal and much easier. Typically, the right hand goes on the bottom and the left hand goes on the top. This means that while holding hands with the people next to you, you will have your right hand underneath the hand of the person on your right and your left hand on the top of the person on your left.

Breaking It Down.

The Greek folk dance that you’re going to learn has only six steps. When you think about it that way, it’s pretty simple! These six steps, once mastered, are simply repeated over and over again. There really isn’t much else to it! Here are the six steps: step right with your right foot, left foot crosses behind, step right with your right foot, kick your left foot to the right, step left to your left foot, kick your right foot to the left. That’s it! You really can learn to dance in the Greek folk style!

How To Practice This Dance

It might be easiest to try to learn this dance by yourself or with one other friend. Now, think about the six steps to this dance. Once you can visualize them, it is easier to refer to the steps as: right, left behind, right, kick, left, kick. Make sure that you understand what these directions really mean, though, so that you’re not kicking with the wrong foot, etc.

Take these six steps very slowly at first. Once you complete the last step, “kick” (or kick your right foot to the left), then you begin the sequence again with “right” (or step right with your right foot). Keep repeating these steps slowly until you begin to feel comfortable with them.

How To Recognize This Dance

Now that you’ve practiced the steps, you’re ready to dance this dance at a big fat Greek wedding. How will you recognize this dance? One simple way to know that people are dancing the same dance is by asking yourself if it looks anything like the Jewish dance, the Hora, done to the music of Hava Nagila. (In fact, Hora simply means circle dancing, which is most Greek dancing as well.) Most of the time, the songs that this Greek dance is performed to sound quite a bit happier than Hava Nagila and the majority of Greek dance songs as well. Greek music is quite complicated in its rhythms, but this dance is simply six medium-tempo beats. Once you have assessed if this dance looks similar to the one you have learned, simply watch the dancers and see if you can pick out the six step pattern that you have learned. If you see it, you’re ready to join in the fun!

Make sure that you join the dance either at the end of the line or between some people that you recognize (typically towards the end of the line).

That’s it! It’s easy to learn to dance Greek folk dances! This simple Greek dance is fun, a great workout, and always performed at parties, festivals, and weddings. You’re sure to get the chance to perform it, and you’ll have a blast!

Make Your Big Day Perfect With Wedding Dance Lessons

Taking that first step onto the dance floor as husband and wife is a moment you will never forget. Wedding dance lessons can help you prepare for that big moment as long as you keep a sense of humor and follow some simple hints.

Don’t wait to start your sessions. Most couples need at least four to six months to learn a new routine. This is even truer for those who have never been dancing before. You should start as soon as possible in order to give yourself adequate time to learn the moves and have your instructor choreograph a routine to the song of your choice.

Let the experts handle the instructing. You may have been doing this for years and your fiancé may not. Instead of frustrating each other by trying to teach him or her what to do, let an experienced instructor lead the wedding dance lessons. You both will have a lot more fun dancing than you would if one of you is bossing the other around the floor. It is a sure-fire way to start a fight and lead to bad feelings instead of good vibes.

If you have a song in mind that you’d like use, bring it to your sessions. Your instructor can help to choreograph a simple, yet elegant routine that will be easy for you to remember. If you don’t have one already picked out, don’t sweat it. That is small stuff compared to all the other things on your to-do list. Your teacher will still be able to instruct you on the basic moves and stances you will need to know. He or she may also be able to help you pick out the perfect tune to share that first moment of you have not already chosen one.

Keep your sense of humor. Dancing is a skill that required patience and kindness. You are not going to be perfect the first time you try. You may feel like a fool and probably look a little silly at first. Remember, the more you practice, the better you’ll get. Wedding dance lessons are about sharing this moment with your soon-to-be spouse. Once you actually take the floor at your reception, you aren’t going to care what other people think, because you are in the arms of your special someone.

When you come to your lessons or are practicing at home, make sure you wear the right shoes. If you are the bride, make sure your heels are approximately the same height as the ones you will wear to the reception.

When you come to your first wedding dance lesson, be ready to give the instructor some basic information. You should have an idea of what type of music will be at the reception and if you are hiring a band or a DJ. You should also have an idea of how large an area the floor is. Also, if there are any other special dances like a father/daughter or mother/son dance, let the instructor know, and he or she can help with those, too.