A record 2,500 participants gathered from January 14-17 at the Caribe Royale Resort to attend the 21st annual Hellenic Dance Festival (HDF) in Orlando, Florida.
The Metropolis of Atlanta sponsored the event which brought in 43 teams from churches in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Colorado, Virginia, Illinois and Kansas. HDF also welcomed groups from Arizona and Maryland for the first time.
HDF is an annual event which aims to bring together families through dance, music and fellowship to perpetuate Greek Orthodox traditions. The festival began in 2000 under the leadership of Metropolitan Alexios of Atlanta.
“The theme of our Hellenic Dance Festival was ‘Reconnect,’ and everyone who attended truly reconnected to their relationship with God, reconnected to their Hellenic roots, and reconnected in fellowship with their brothers and sisters in Christ,” HDF Chairman Fr. Sampson Kasapakis said. “After having to cancel the previous year’s event due to the pandemic, this year’s HDF was a great success not just in numbers but in reconnecting to what we are passionate about: our faith and culture.”
The weekend consisted of dance competitions, live music and a Sunday morning Divine Liturgy followed by a red carpet-themed awards ceremony in the evening. The judges panel consisted of experts from the United States and Greece with decades of experience in Greek folk dance research and teaching.
At Sunday’s awards banquet, medals were awarded for dance, choral performance, costumes and folk expression across eight competitive categories.
Attendees also participated in a service project. Through donations from individuals and parishes, they prepared more than 1,000 health kits for local ministries.
HDF 2023 will be held in Atlanta, Georgia. The event is led by an executive committee and a 15-person team during festival weekend. Visit the HDF website to learn more.
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