Traditional Greek folk dance - credits: T-photography/
Traditional Greek folk dance - credits: T-photography/
There is no better way to form bonds and share memories like dancing, especially the traditional Greek way of dancing. Since you’re not the typical tourist, you may crave an immersive and authentic experience during your visit to Greece. You’ve eaten your way through the neighborhoods, you’ve stumbled upon the hidden gems, and now it’s time to step and twirl your way to a folk dance lesson.

1. It’s a good way to bond with others

cretan dancers Veniamakis Stefanos shutterstockCretan dancers holding hands - Veniamakis Stefanos/

Learning to dance as the Greeks do, is a great team-building activity for various reasons. Many folk dances, like the Antikristos or the Sirtaki, require a line or circle formation with hands held on your co-dancers’ shoulders. Movements are synchronized, so cooperation between dance partners are key. Whether you’re dancing with your family members, friends, or co-workers, trying together to stay on the beat is an important element of the dance and a great opportunity to test your communication skills!

2. You learn a lot about Greek culture

Greek folk dancing crew and musicians T photography shutterstockGreek folk-dancing crew and musicians - credits: T-photography/
This type of choreography has been passed down since Plato’s time, which is estimated at around 400 BCE! Needless to say, this activity has been a staple of Greek culture for a very long time. Traditional Greek dancing is primarily performed at social functions like weddings, festivals, and holidays. It’s a form of community building and celebration and you can take part in it yourself during your time in Greece!
Zorba Inside Me: Greek Dance Lesson & Dinner

3. It’s fun and -most times- easy

greek circular dance NDT shutterstock
Greeks dancing traditional circular dances at Ikaria island - credits: NDT /

With the right attitude and the right instructor, you can easily learn the basic steps of Greek folk dancing. A lot of the movements are repetitive, so don’t be afraid to give it a shot. You may feel awkward or shy at first, but soon you’ll be moving along to the infectious music, ready to party like a Greek!

4. You’ll feel like Zorba the Greek

syrtaki dancing Leanne Vorrias shutterstock
Mykonos dancers perform the syrtaki on Palm Sunday - credits: Leanne Vorrias/

A popular pop-culture reference from Greece is the movie Zorba the Greek. It is about an uptight Englishman named Basil, who lets loose and enjoys his stay in Crete with the gregarious Greek Macedonian, Zorba. It’s based on the novel by the beloved Greek writer, Nikos Kazantzakis. In the story, dancing is a big part of Zorba’s personality and he teaches Basil how to do it. The popularity of the movie introduced the rest of the world to Greek dancing and it was even made into a Broadway musical!

5. You can show off to your friends back home

After returning from a trip, most people bring home souvenirs, trinkets and maybe even a couple of learned words and phrases of the country’s language. Surprise your friends and family with something a little more impressive: traditional Greek dance steps. So when they ask what you did in Greece, you can not only tell them but show them as well!
This tradition is alive and well all over Greece, including Athens. Immerse yourself in something new with a dance lesson taught by trained professionals. After dancing the night away, recharge with a lively Greek feast. Food and dance are a big part of celebrating life for the Greeks, something we can all get on board with!