A chance to visit a place probably/hopefully unique in the whole universe.

Dance, or rather the terpsichorean* arts in general.

Traditional Greek/Cypriot dances tend to be fairly rigidly structured requiring a series of steps to be memorized and then performed with varying degrees of grace or athleticism.
These dances are rarely performed except on national holidays or else on TV talent contests, usually without success.

Usually, the local weddings and parties version of the Greek "dance" is a simpler affair that is most frequently performed at weddings and generally when under the influence of alcohol. For the convenience of the potential "dancer", it may be broken down into the following stages.
 

1. The dancer should saunter onto the floor minus his jacket. This may be tucked deftly into his belt (by the collar) as he takes the floor with the air of one preparing seriously for action.
 A colleague may accompany them in order to kneel laboriously on one knee on the floor outside the immediate radius of the dancer's activities. This individual claps rhythmically to emphasize the performance and is permitted to shout "Ooopah" occasionally at moments of peak artistic expression or to camouflage the dancer having just fallen over.
 
2. The dancer's arms are held half aloft as if wading waist-deep through water and the head turned slightly as if to avoid the splashes

 

3. A series of stumbling, jumping, hopping or sliding manoeuvres is performed in a variety of directions around the available floor space to (approximately) the rhythm of the music.  Word from our mainland Greek colleagues is that you should stand immobile with arms upraised and just dance in your head with (once again)  alcohol as the convenient excuse for your dramatic if somewhat rigid performance.  In your mind you were kick-ass.
The dancer must continue to face forward at all times, laughing or smiling is not permitted. If he turns, it must be with deliberation and precision 180 degrees to his previous orientation and is usually accompanied by an "Ooopah" of more than usual emphasis. (It is worthy of comment that whilst a woman may "Ooopah" for a man, for a man to "Ooopah" for a woman is rare.)

 

4. When the music is concluded the dancer leaves the floor. He will not acknowledge either applause or even his clapper/"Ooopah" man at this time presumably due to either the depth of his post-horos emotional state or else lack of wind after his enthusiastic if cumbersome efforts.

 

Appalling/total lack of technique, lack of rhythm or even having your shoelaces knotted together by mischievous paithia (children) need not keep you from the floor.
The air to be cultivated for a male is that of an individual of depth and sensitivity driven to express himself in dance by the power of the music, which considering the volume it is usually played at is quite believable.  Your deficiencies (if any) may be camouflaged by the occasional stagger which implies your performance is hampered by excess alcohol rather than lack of talent, and thus - under different circumstances - you would be superb.

 

The female approach is more direct. Requiring more skill, they ignore totally all other dancers, watchers, "Ooopah" persons etc.. and stalk to and from the floor with their noses in the air, much as if performing a distasteful duty before hopping and shuffling heft and right perhaps with a female colleague.  Possibly their attitude suggests mistrust of the motives of other dancers' "Ooopah" persons kneeling at their feet whilst they dance in short skirts and high heels.
 
*in Greek mythology, nine goddesses and daughters of the god Zeus and of Mnemosyne, the goddess of memory.
The Muses presided over the arts and sciences and were believed to inspire all artists, especially poets, philosophers, and musicians. Calliope was the muse of epic poetry, Clio of history, Euterpe of lyric poetry, Melpomene of tragedy, Terpsichore of choral songs and the dance, Erato of love poetry, Polyhymnia of sacred poetry, Urania of astronomy, and Thalia of comedy.

 

Thalia is also a Brazilian actress and singer but one assumes this is probably not the same girl.


Horos