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Meet us on the dance floor: Getting to know Bobby Garofalis
Episode 917th March 2021 • Syrtos • Maria
00:00:00 01:07:53

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Bobby Garofalis is the currently the director of the Hellenic Youth Dancers at Saints Constantine and Helen in Newport News. Bobby has been involved with Greek dance for over 35 years. He is well versed in the dances of many areas of Greece (Pontos, Dodecanese, Thraki) with a special emphasis on Crete.

Bobby began as a dancer for the Hellenic Youth Dancers in 1990 and then became choreographer, director, and now lead Director/Administrator. He leads anywhere from 4-5 groups including the Adult Group Enosis who perform and compete in numerous events throughout the country. Bobby has been honored with 25 medals at HDF, including 13 platinum awards. At the 2012 Hellenic Dance Festival in Atlanta, Bobby was honored with the Director of the Year award.

Bobby was first introduced to Cretan dancing in the summer of 1985 when he was enrolled in the Xirouhakis Dance Studio in Chania. He has since been dancing Cretan for many years, and specifically in the last 6 years, he has researched and learned many of the old or "lost" Cretan dances. Bobby credits his research and expertise in Cretan Dancing to Vasili Contos from Long Beach, Manolis Fioretzis from Iraklion, Niko Archontakis from Chania, Petros Saridakis from Ethia and Stratis Skarakis from Kissamos. Most recently, Bobby befriended Nikos Giakoumakis from Chania, who collaborated with him to present a suite of dances and rizitika from the Rizinia region of Chania, a first in the United States which was awarded a Folk Expression award at HDF 2020.

Bobby believes that Greek dance is a lifelong journey, and that it is constantly evolving. It is a journey of learning and an opportunity to experience Greece's diverse culture and traditions.




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