Greek Folk Dance
Welcome to a new year of Greek folk dancing. We are delighted to have you and/or your child in the dance group program and look forward to an exciting year. Please read the following dance policies and procedures. We hope the terms outlined below will help all of you to understand the dance ministry and meet the expectations.
Holy Trinity’s Greek Dance program seeks to strengthen and create lifetime bonds between the youth of our community through the treasure of folk dance. Encouraging youth to appreciate aspects of our rich Hellenic culture, our program is tailored to make learning and dance the very best experience for all who participate!
The Greek Folk Dance Program of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral of Portland, Oregon is an integral part of the ministry of our church. The primary purposes of this ministry are to bring our youth and their parents together in Greek Orthodox Christian fellowship; to help our youth develop strong moral, ethical, and leadership standards; and to promote and perpetuate Greek heritage and culture. Each and every ministry of the church is guided by a set of rules and standards that are intended to help us all live and grow in a standard befitting the ideas of Greek Orthodox Christianity under the guidance of our Proistemenos.
General Dancer Expectations
The goal of the dance program is to establish a safe, orderly, positive environment in which the instructors can teach and dancers can learn. All parents are expected to be fully aware of their children’s behavior at all practices, performances, and events and to take necessary disciplinary measures to ensure that their children comply with all expectations of the dance program.
Dancers are required to fulfill these expectations: be responsible, be respectful, be safe, have fun and attend church regularly. Parents are part of the dance ministry, too. As such, parents are expected to be good role models for their children and to participate and behave in the same manner as their children are expected to under these guidelines.
- Arrive on time to Church.
- Attend Sunday School regularly.
- Attend all practices – If you need to miss a practice, please communicate with your instructor prior to the practice or event.
- Arrive on time for practices, performances, fundraisers, and Diakonia events.
- When in your possession, keep your costume in good, clean, pressed condition.
- Respect your instructors, fellow dancers, clergy, parents, and yourself.
- Use appropriate language – no swearing, name-calling or disrespectful comments.
- Use a cell phone and other electronic devices ONLY after you are dismissed by your instructor.
- Dancers need to be respectful of other groups practice times and areas. This includes cleaning up after yourselves of any food or drink related items.
- Be prepared and attentive.
- Wear dance shoes or tennis shoes-no flip flops, sandals, high heels, or bare feet.
- No running around the gym while practices are in session.
- Don’t leave practice without checking in with your instructor
Communication is vital to ensure that the dance program functions smoothly. Instructors are required to communicate with parents and dancers in a regular, frequent, and timely manner. In addition, the Dance Board will communicate to the dancers and parents. The preferred method of communication with the group at large is e-mail, as it is the quickest method for widespread communication. The older dance groups, at the discretion of their instructors, may choose to supplement this communication via text message.
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Attendance to every class is very important! Missed practices create additional work for your instructors and fellow dancers as time is taken away from practice to teach the missed material. Please make every effort to inform your instructor in advance of any upcoming absences. Any absence not communicated prior to practice, will be considered an unexcused absence.
If a dancer has an ongoing sport, club or school event which will conflict with dance practice, arrangements must be made with the group instructor at the beginning of the dance year/season, i.e. - sport players should present instructors with game schedules at the beginning of each season, or as soon as schedules are released. Any conflicting events not communicated in advance will be considered unexcused.
With the exception of illness, all same day absence requests will be considered unexcused. Consecutive and/or excessive absences (unexcused or excused) may result in the dancer being asked to forfeit participation in an upcoming performance. Such consequences will be at the discretion of the group instructor. Any questions regarding this policy should be directed to your group’s dance instructor.
FDF – Faith, Dance, and Fellowship
The Greek Orthodox Folk Dance & Choral Festival takes place in February (President’s weekend). The dance practices post-Greek Festival, in the fall and winter are dedicated to practicing for the two FDF performances. Dancer participation and the associated personal expenses of attending FDF are the responsibility of each dancer and parent. Refer to www.yourfdf.org for additional information on FDF.
Fundraisers are a partnership between the dancers, parents and board members. The purpose is not only to raise money, but to develop fellowship and instill in our dancers a sense of ownership and responsibility by being active participants alongside their parents in raising the funds necessary to attend FDF.
Beyond FDF – Dancer Participation
All dancers and instructors are expected to participate at the Greek Festival (October) and occasional events at Holy Trinity or the community at large, throughout the year. These performances may include Oxi Day, Greek Independence Day, and any dance program fundraiser.
All dancers and instructors are also required to participate in the annual Diakonia project. This Diakonia project promotes the importance of service to the community by encouraging our youth to come together and give back to those in need.