Greeks dance in the best circles
It has been said that "Greeks dance in the best circles." At the Oakland Greek Festival, everyone is Greek and the circles of dancers grow wider and wider as you join someone's hand and follow along. After circling two or three times you will have mastered the steps and made some wonderful acquaintances.
Three locations to see Greek Folk Dance Performances
Six Ascension teams present Greek folk dance performances throughout the three-day Festival at three locations: the Cathedral Windmill Courtyard, the Mike and Evelyn Kutsuris Platia stage and the Dining Room Stage. The Ascension dance groups comprise over 100 dancers ranging in age from five to 25 to 50+ years old.The dances and costumes are representative of different regions of Greece.
Many of our dancers started dancing at age 5 and have continued to dance through their college years, perpetuating the learning and teaching of their Greek heritage and culture. The oldest students now direct the youngest groups exemplifying their love of Greek dance.
The groups practice weekly throughout the year with two main events: The annual Folk Dance & Choral Festival (FDF), where 100 dance groups (over 3,000 dancers) gather from the throughout the U.S. to compete and share their Hellenic culture and Greek Orthodox faith; the second event is Ascension's three-day festival where the following groups perform:
Ta Pitsirikia (The Little Kids) Our newest dance group, these Pre-K and Kindergarteners have not had a chance to compete but warm our hearts with their enthusiastic dancing. Be sure to cheer them on, on Sunday as they make their Festival debut!
Titanes (Titans) – Our youngest competitive dancers symbolize incredible strength and stamina. These up and coming dancers did a phenomenal job performing and singing at FDF this year. Come watch how spectacular and entertaining these kids perform.
Analypsis (Ascension) our 4th through 6th graders and they truly love to dance. These dancers never miss a beat and will be sure to put a smile on your face. They received a special achievement award in their category at competition for the Macedonian suite. Be sure to catch one of their energetic performances. Opa!
Nea Zoe (New Life) consists of 7th, 8th, and 9th graders and they truly love to dance. This year they’ll be performing dances from the island of Crete, the largest of the Greek islands. The dances are usually upbeat with a lot of showmanship. Come watch their crowdpleasing performance.
Seismos (Earth Movers) is our high school dance group who astound everyone at competition with their performances. This year they placed second in their highly competitive Advanced Intermediate Category. Come catch one of their award-winning performances at the Windmill Plaza!
Nea Epohi (The Way) is our adult dance group. The group consists of alumni dancers from Ellliniki Paradosis, Chrysi Aeti, Meltemi, and Anemos. The Nea Ehopi dancers will perform various dances they've learned over the years. Come see their entertaining performance, showcasing the unique styling, varying from the different villages of Greece.
Ta Asteria (The Stars) is a dance group from our neighboring Greek Orthodox Church St. Demetrios in Concord. These middle school dancers truly symbolize what Greek Dancing is all about and may even ask you to join them for a Kalamatiano!