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Meet us on the dance floor: Getting to know Anna and Aris Yortzidis
Episode 810th March 2021 • Syrtos • Maria
00:00:00 01:12:16

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Aris Yortzidis has been involved with Greek folk dancing for over 37 years in various capacities--as a dancer, director, and judge. He began dancing in his home parish of St. George in Downey, CA in 1982 and also performed with various groups in southern California. In 1995 and until his departure from Southern California in 2000, Aris directed groups at St. George, Downey, CA; Sts. Constantine and Helen, Cardiff-by-the-Sea, CA; and St. Katherine, Redondo Beach, CA. In 1996, Aris received an scholarship from the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of San Francisco Folk Dance Festival that provided him the opportunity to research the dances of Serres; the dances and traditions of his father’s village of Chrysochorafa (Gagauzika; where his father is from), Serres; the dances of the Vlachs of Serres; and the dances of Pontos in Serres, Katerini (where his mother is from), and Thessaloniki. He has continued his research and has obtained broad knowledge of the dances of Thrace, Macedonia, the islands, and other regions of Greece. He continues to present at seminars and serve as a consultant to performing groups. He has also served as a judge at several Greek folk dance events and competitions in the United States (Hellenic Dance Festival, Metropolis of Atlanta; America's Greek Dance Competition) and in South America (Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Buenos Aires and South America). Aris currently resides and works in the Washington, DC area and he is married to Anna Yortzidis, a native of Newport News, VA. Aris and Anna are also co-founders the Byzantio Greek Dance and Cultural Arts Program based in the Greater Metropolitan Washington, DC area (Web: | Instagram: @byzantiodc | Twitter: @ByzantioDC | Facebook:

Anna Yortzidis has been Greek folk dancing since 1985, starting with the Hellenic Youth Dancers of Sts. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church in her hometown of Newport News, Virginia. She represented her community in several events and competitions including the Metropolis of New Jersey Folk Dance Festival, Metropolis of San Francisco Folk Dance Festival, and Metropolis of Atlanta Hellenic Dance Festival. After dancing with the Hellenic Youth Dancers for nine years, Anna took over as program head and directed the five dance groups under the program before moving to Washington, DC in 2007. During her tenure with the Hellenic Youth Dancers, Anna conducted extensive research on various regions of Greece (Thrace, Pontos, Macedonia, Crete, and other islands) and greatly expanded the program’s dance repertoire. She also is an avid costume enthusiast and made significant investments to the Hellenic Youth Dancers costume library. Anna continues to perform with Enosis, the adult group of the program. After moving to Washington, DC, Anna co-founded the Byzantio Cultural Arts and Dance Program of the Greater Washington DC area in 2012 with her husband, Aris Yortzidis. The program consists of four groups and Anna performs and directs in the program. In addition to her extensive work as a director, Anna has also served as a judge at the Metropolis of Atlanta Hellenic Dance Festival, the Direct Archdiocese District Folk Dance Festival (Parathosi) in New York, and the Metropolis of San Francisco Folk Dance Festival.




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