ORLANDO, FL. – More than 1,600 participants will gather Jan. 17-20 at the Orlando World Center Marriott to attend the 20th anniversary Hellenic Dance Festival (HDF). Sponsored by the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Atlanta, the event welcomes performing groups from across its Metropolis and beyond. A record 50 teams registered to participate, representing parishes from Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee, Colorado, Virginia, California, Illinois and Kansas.
HDF is led by an executive committee and a 20-person festival implementation team. The event aims to bring together Orthodox families through dance, music and fellowship to perpetuate the rich Hellenic Orthodox tradition. The theme of the 2020 event is “VISION” and is woven into spiritual workshops throughout the weekend. Attendees will also participate in an inaugural HDF-wide service project. Through generous donations from individuals and parishes, dancers will have the opportunity to pack health kits for IOCC (International Orthodox Christian Charities).
“On behalf of Metropolitan Alexios, the HDF Executive Committee, and our entire implementation team, we look forward to welcoming thousands of fellow Orthodox Christians to Orlando to celebrate our 20th Anniversary event,” said Stavros Karagiorgis, Festival Implementation Committee co-chair. Over the last 20th years, HDF has been a key event in strengthening our cultural ties as well as our faith.”
In addition to full days of competition on Saturday and Sunday, attendees will participate in an opening ceremony and Agiasmos on Friday evening. On Sunday morning, the entire Metropolis family will come together to celebrate the Divine Liturgy with His Eminence Archbishop Alexios. The weekend will culminate on Sunday evening with a red carpet themed awards dinner followed by socializing and dancing. Live music for the Saturday and Sunday glendia will be provided by folk musicians from the U.S., Thessaloniki and Crete.
The event will be enhanced by a prestigious panel of dance and costume judges from the U.S. and Greece, representing decades of Greek folk dance research and teaching. At Sunday’s awards gala, medals will be awarded for dance, choral performance, costumes and folk expression in each of eight competitive categories.
Weekend packages can be purchased online, and a la carte tickets for competition and individual events will be available for purchase onsite during the event. For more information about the weekend and the mission of HDF, visit www.hellenicdancefestival.com.
Our Hellenic Dance Festival, based on the vision and dream of His Eminence Metropolitan Alexios, began in 2000. Traveling from city to city throughout our Metropolis, the Hellenic Dance Festival has grown into a true family event. Held on the MLK Jr. weekend, it allows for participants to travel and join together as brothers and sisters in Christ. Our religion, our Greek language, and our culture help us maintain our identity as Hellenes. The need for our communities to perpetuate our culture, along with the philosophy of ancient Greece and the Olympic spirit of “a healthy mind in a healthy body” were instrumental in the vision by His Eminence Metropolitan Alexios to establish this Hellenic Dance Festival for the youth and families of our Metropolis.