This is where my love of dance started… The Greek Festival. When I was in fifth grade, my dad took me to the Greek Festival in Tucson, AZ. My dad and I jumped in during the open call for Greek dance lessons mid-afternoon and we were the last two to leave the dance floor at closing time.
Greece holds a special place in my family’s history. My parents met at Athens Community High School in Athens, Greece when both of my grandfathers were stationed at Athenai Air Force Base. My parents and grandparents have fond memories of Athens, and I love hearing the stories of the Greek culture, music, food, and of my parents falling in love. My mother even won Miss Teenage America while living in Greece and sang a medley from The Sound of Music for her talent portion of the competition.
So when I saw the Facebook announcement for the local Greek Festival, I marked it on my calendar. I was so excited to take the kids and dance. Unfortunately, we waited until the last night and so there wasn’t an opportunity to dance with the kids. Instead, we ate amazing food and then ate some more. Then I soaked in the joy of the dancers and their relatives who were so proud shouting ‘Opa!’, while taking pictures and throwing dollar bills on the tops of their favorite dancer’s heads.
All the dance groups from Kindergarten to young adults danced separately and then together for an impressive finale. The costumes were magnificent and the music and dancing just made me smile. I felt as if I was in fifth grade all over again wishing I could just pull my dad onto the floor to dance to one more song.
Next year, I am dancing. Nothing is stopping me. And perhaps, just perhaps I might consider converting to the Greek Orthodox church just so I can jump on top of this pyramid.
This past weekend, my family celebrated my maternal grandmother’s 80th birthday. I loved hearing her stories and her advice for her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.
My hope is that in the next couple of years, my family makes it a priority to travel to Greece together. Oh how I would treasure seeing Greece along side of my parents and three grandparents. And better yet, just one more dance with my dad.
Blessings sweet friends,