Thousands Gather for the 21st Annual Hellenic Dance Festival in Orlando

A record 2,500 attendees gathered Jan. 14-17 at the Caribe Royale Resort to attend the 21st annual Hellenic Dance Festival (HDF) in Orlando, Florida.

Metro Atlanta sponsored the event which brought together 43 church teams from Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Colorado, Virginia, Illinois and Kansas . HDF also hosted bands from Arizona and Maryland for the first time.

HDF is an annual event that aims to bring families together through dance, music and fellowship to continue Greek Orthodox traditions. The festival began in 2000 under the leadership of Metropolitan Alexios of Atlanta.

“The theme for our Hellenic Dance Festival was ‘Reconnect’ and everyone who attended truly reconnected to their relationship with God, reconnected to their Hellenic roots, and reconnected to fellowship with their brothers and sisters in Christ,” said HDF President Fr. says Sampson Kasapakis. “After having to cancel the previous year’s event due to the pandemic, this year’s HDF was a great success not only in numbers but also in reconnecting with what we are passionate about: our faith and our culture.”

The weekend included dance competitions, live music and a divine liturgy on Sunday morning followed by a red carpet-themed awards ceremony in the evening. The judging panel was made up of experts from the United States and Greece with decades of experience in researching and teaching Greek folk dance.

At Sunday’s awards banquet, medals were awarded for dance, choral performance, costume and folk expression in eight competitive categories.

Participants also participated in a service project. Through donations from individuals and parishes, they have prepared over 1,000 health kits for local ministries.

HDF 2023 will be held in Atlanta, Georgia. The event is animated by an executive committee and a team of 15 people during the weekend of the festival. Visit the HDF website to learn more.

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