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About Vas Aligiannis

Lead Dance Instructor

Passionate and experienced lead dance instructor/researcher for over 33 years, specialising in Greek Dance.

Thrace Program
Greek Church

Education

1996

Sydney University

Master of Teaching Degree

Accredited High School teacher with a Masters Degree in Education.

Major in History, English Literature and Minor in Drama Studies.

1991-2024

Greek Dance Workshops - Greece

Experience

Dance workshop ENXORO organised by Yiannis Prantzidis and Babis Moutselos
Dance workshops organised by the Xenia Dance Association in Kalamata
Gatherings & Dance workshops 1-7 organised by Kostas Mitsis in Preveza (Summer workshops)
Dance Workshops organised by BAKXOS Dance Association
Dance workshops organised by LAOGRAFIKOS XOREFTIKOS OMILOS ANATOLIKI RUMELIA
Dance workshops organised by ‘KYKLOS Thessaloniki’
Dance workshops organised by Mary Markaki Seminars in Crete
Dance workshops organised by KEPEM in Athens
Dance workshops organised by ‘SERRA’ under Nikos Zournatzidis (Pontian)
Dance workshops & village visits organised by EPILLINIOS.
Summer dance workshops organised by Dora Stratou Dance Theatre, Athens.


 

Lead Instructor/ Teaching Experience:

St Euphemia (Under the instruction of Andrea and Sofia Rossidies) pre-1991

Pan-Macedonian Lyceum Hellenic Dancers of NSW (Under George Kambouridis) pre 2000


Started teaching students at 12 years old who were in the beginners group. At the age of 16 took over the St Euphemia College, every afternoon. Teaching at the college for 3 years the Afternoon Greek School.

Founder & Director, Greek Folk Dancers of NSW – Institute of Hellenic Dance & Culture (1991– Present)

Established and led the Greek Folk Dancers of NSW and the Institute of Hellenic Dance & Culture. Curated a diverse collection of music and regional costumes from Greece.
Conducted workshops on Greek Folk Dance catering to different skill levels and age groups. Created a Partnership with Igehoros Greece.

Organised and performed at various events including performances, dinner dances, and concerts.

 

Lead Instructor, Pan-Macedonian Lyceum Hellenic Dancers of NSW Inc (1999–2018)

Instructed and directed the dancing group of the organisation.
Involved in the group since 1990 - as a dancer.
Organised workshops focusing on dances from Macedonia.
Promoted Hellenic history and dances to multicultural society members.

 

Lead Instructor, Illion Association Dance Group (Mid 2013–2015)

Taught and directed the dancing group. Organised lectures on Peloponnesian culture.

Instructor, Greek Afternoon Schools (2001–2006)

Taught Greek dance under the direction of the Afternoon Greek Schools coordinator. Organised social events and purchased costumes for national day celebrations.

Director, Lead Instructor, Pan Korinthian Association of NSW (2006–Early 2011)

Organised the dance group and conducted workshops.
Established and supervised the Cultural Committee.
Participated and coordinated dance groups in the Pan-Peloponessian Festival.

Lead Instructor, St Therapon Greek Orthodox Church (2009–2012)

Taught and directed the dancing group.
Managed events, including the Greek Festival of Hornsby 2011.

 

Lead Instructor, Mytelinean Association of New South Wales (2010–2013)

Taught and directed the dancing group.
Organised and directed the choir and senior cultural group.

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Instructor, Pontian Association - PontoXenitas in Earlwood (Mid 2010–2011)

Taught and directed the dancing group.
Organised adult group activities and lectures on Pontian Genocide.

 

Instructor, St Stephanos Parish in Hurlstone Park (Mid 2014–2016)

Taught and directed the dancing group.
Organised adult group activities and lectures, Zebekiko Dance Workshop.

 

Instructor, St Ioannis Parish in Parramatta (early 2000 and later in 2021–2022)

Taught and directed the dancing group.
Organised adult group activities, Performances and Cultural Exhibitions of costumes and folk art for the Let’s Go Greek Festival

Lead Instructor Hellenic Lyceum Sydney (2024 - current)

 

 

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Greek Streets

My personal research

My lifelong passion for Greek folk dance has led me on a remarkable journey of exploration and discovery throughout Greece. With over twenty five visits to this captivating country, I have immersed myself in its diverse regions, delving into the rich tapestry of its folk dance traditions. Through a meticulous blend of research and firsthand experience, my methodology encompasses a multifaceted approach aimed at uncovering the cultural nuances and significance of Greek folk dance.

 

In essence, my research into Greek folk dance is a labor of love, fuelled by a deep-seated admiration for the beauty and resilience of this cherished tradition. Through my interdisciplinary approach and immersive experiences, I strive to illuminate the cultural significance of folk dance in Greece and contribute to its preservation for future generations to embrace and enjoy.


 

01

Methodology

My research methodology is characterised by its comprehensive and interdisciplinary nature, drawing upon elements of musicology, anthropology, and ethnography. Each trip to Greece involves meticulous planning, as I meticulously research areas and regions of interest, seeking out villages and local communities where folk dance traditions thrive. Upon arrival, I engage in immersive experiences, participating in festivals, workshops, and cultural events that celebrate Greek heritage.

 

03

Exploration of Villages and Locals

In my quest to understand Greek folk dance, I actively seek out opportunities to connect with villagers and locals who embody these traditions. By immersing myself in their communities, I gain firsthand knowledge of the customs, rituals, and social dynamics that underpin folk dance practices. I document these experiences through video recordings, photographs, and field notes, capturing the essence of daily life and cultural expression.

 

02

Recording Interviews

A crucial aspect of my research involves the recording of interviews with key figures in the field of Greek folk dance. From local dancers and instructors to cultural experts and historians, these interviews serve as invaluable sources of insight into the origins, practices, and evolution of folk dance in Greece. Through these conversations, I aim to preserve oral histories and capture the diverse perspectives that shape this cherished cultural tradition. I also participate in one on one lessons of dance and learn these steps from firsthand.

 

04

Engagement with Cultural Organisations

Throughout my research journey, I have forged meaningful connections with key organisations dedicated to the preservation and promotion of Greek folk dance. From the Lykeion Ellinidon to KEPEM (Center for Research on Greek Dance), Dora Stratou Greek Dance Theater and the Domna Samiou Foundation, I have collaborated with esteemed institutions that share my passion for safeguarding Greece's cultural heritage. Through these partnerships, I have access to resources, expertise, and networks that enrich my research endeavours. I have also made some amazing connections with people involved in Greek dance e.g. Alkis Raftis, Lefteris Drandakis and Kostas Mitsis.

 

Regions Researched Specifically

Arkadia / Messinia, in the Peloponnese.
Naousa and the Boules Dromena in Macedonia.
Syrrako, Tzoumerka Region, in Epirus.
Konitsa and the Mastorohoria Region, in Epirus.
Roumlouki Imathias, in Macedonia.
Kalymnos/Leros, in the Dodecanese Islands.
Palia Roumata Village, outside Chania, in Crete





 

Extract of Concert
Sand & Water

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