Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral Folk Dance Program
The Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral of Charlotte hosts one of the biggest Greek folk dance programs in the country. The program is headed by Stacie Peroulas, who chairs the program’s board. Part of the Cathedral’s intersecting efforts in education and cultural preservation, the folk dance program passes on the rich heritage of Greek song and dance as well as information on regional costuming and cultural practices.
Around 100 dancers are enrolled in the competitive year-round program, taught by thirty volunteer instructors. Dancers are divided into 4 or 5 performance groups and work with a team of 2 or 3 instructors.They do not adhere to a specific curriculum but rather each competitive teaching team researches and develops performance suites based on what they would like to study. They are exposed to a wide variety of regional styles over the course of K-12 years and interact with guest teachers from Greece who often teach and set competition works for their dancers. Year—long program dancers perform and compete—very successfully--in a yearly Hellenic Dance Festival in which they are judged on their costumes, choral work, dancing, and folk expression. In 2020, the festival will be held in Orlando, Florida.
Year-round program dancers perform for numerous events in Charlotte and for the yearly Yiasou Festival where they are joined by an additional 300 dancers. The Yiasou Festival, begun in 1978, is held every year in September. The three day festival features folk dancing, music, Cathedral tours, historical and cultural exhibits, wine tastings, and Greek food and is one of the most popular of several fall events that celebrate cultural heritage.
Holy Trinity is one of three Greek Orthodox churches in Charlotte and serves approximately 2000 families.