Dance Department

The Dance Department consists of approximately 50 individuals, male and female dancers, and presents all Cypriot dances, as well as their innovative creations and variations, always based on our tradition, such as ‘spora,’ ‘anemisma,’ ‘syrtos,’ ‘zivania,’ and more. Throughout the years of its activity, it has performed hundreds of shows both in Cyprus and abroad.

Additionally, it presented various works and choreodramas such as ‘Returning to Our Roots,’ ‘My Beautiful Varosi,’ ‘The Diziimin,’ ‘The Sarazini at the Wedding,’ ‘Aretousa,’ among others, combining a high-level theme that touched the boundaries of professionalism.

The program presented by the dance department includes the entire Cypriot Folk repertoire, individual spectacular dances, and group creations based on tradition.

Our goal is to present our dances as close as possible to tradition. That is, to maintain the main characteristics of Cypriot dance, which are:

General characteristics of Cypriot dances:

In Cypriot dances, generally, their main characteristics are:

  1. spontaneity and improvisation
  2. they were danced facing each other
  3. men and women did not dance together (there were no mixed dances).

Men’s dances are characterized by courage, grace, competitive nature, and display, where the pursuit is for the fame of being the best and most worthy dancer, as well as the best singer. The prize was primarily the admiration of the girls and generally the audience.

The movements and figures of men are ‘sharp.’ In the squats, the body is erect and proud, not bent. The hand clapping is done at head level, not low. The clapping on the heel is done with the fingers of the hand sliding and ‘escaping’ the fingers backwards. The clapping, ‘piskalisma,’ under the knee was done after the leg was high and straight, not low and bent. The style is smiling and proud, to inspire confidence and self-assurance in the audience. Generally, all the men’s movements showed courage and grace.

A good dancer was considered one who ‘danced’ (moved) precisely to the rhythm, ‘on the violin’ of the music, and could dance in a very small space—’on a marble,’ as they used to say (dimensions about 40×40 cm approximately). Or, for a good dancer, they used to say, ‘he dances on the needle.’ A good dancer was also one who had his own dance style, moved beautifully in the dance, was comfortable with his movements, and had a dignified posture. That is, slim with a nice body and not too short.

Women’s dances:

The girls had their own dances, which were the female face-to-face, syrtos dances, etc. They never danced with men. The only case they danced mixed man and woman was in the antrogyno dance at the wedding. But even in this case, there are older testimonies that mention they danced separately, the antrogyno. The bride with the koumeres and the groom with the best man.

Women’s dances are characterized by modesty, low gaze, calmness, seriousness, or even submissiveness of women. With small and modest steps, without flinging their feet, and movements that show the girls’ housekeeping skills. Exaggeration and affectation are absent in women’s dances, as well as the abrupt element in the dance. That is, the up-down, the squats, abrupt foot movements, and other similar actions.

Simultaneously, the stage presents contemporary choreographies established from the 1950s approximately, always with respect for tradition and maintaining the main elements of tradition in the movements, figures, and ‘steps’ of Cypriot dances.

Dance instructors at the main club are Zacharias Kertepene and Maria Dimitriou Ttofari.

Zacharias Kertepene

Dance Teacher

Zacharias Kertepene was born in Yialousa on 10/06/1972, and after the Turkish invasion, settled in Larnaca.

From the age of 12, he began to engage in learning Cypriot dances at the Vasilitzia Cultural Club. His love and zeal for dance led him to learn other types such as Greek and foreign dances.

In 1989, he marked the beginning of teaching dances in children’s classes at the Dance School. His involvement in this field continues uninterrupted until today.

In 1998, he took on the duties of a dance instructor in the main department of the ‘Vasilitzia’ Cultural Club, which he continues to execute until today.

With his own ideas, he presented innovative choreographies based on tradition on stage, such as ‘spora,’ ‘theros,’ ‘anemisma,’ ‘zivania,’ and other dances.

Simultaneously, as a choreographer, he attempts to showcase authentic samples of our dances on stage, respecting tradition.

He participated in dozens of festivals abroad with the ‘Vasilitzia’ Cultural Club, such as in France, Hungary, Russia, Korea, the Czech Republic, Belgium, Sweden, Belarus, Ukraine, Greece, Finland, Malta, Romania, Bulgaria, Slovakia, England, Mexico, Estonia, Lithuania, Poland, Spain, Italy, Syria, Canada, Algeria, China, South Korea, Turkey, Croatia, and more.

With his choreographies, the club also staged various works and choreodramas such as ‘Returning to Our Roots,’ ‘My Beautiful Varosha,’ ‘The Diziimin,’ ‘The Sarazini at the Wedding,’ ‘Aretousa,’ etc., combining a high-level theme that touched the boundaries of professionalism.

He attended many seminars and lectures concerning Cypriot dances and traditions and teaching methods in general.

Zacharias is considered one of the best choreographers and dancers of traditional dances our country has today.