Traditional Greek dance consists of men in fluffy white skirts spinning and jumping. And it’s great!
On our last day in beautiful Nafplio, Greece, our Greece teacher travel tour nestled into a golden-lit family restaurant for a traditional dance performance. Hoo boy!
While the two female Greek dancers maintained a stately dignity throughout, the male dancer duo went wild. Did the fluffy white skirts bring out their inner male dancing beasts???
UP went the arms of the two male dancers, swirling and intertwining as they hurled forward then backward, then around in a frenzied circle, dragging the two women hither and thither with ecstatic abandon.
“Oh my,” the Greek ladies seemed to be gasping through their frozen half smiles.
“Ahhh!” a fellow Boston teacher squealed, “look at that man move!”
Indeed, I looked up just in time to see the more rotund of the two men leaping into the air, landing into a half split, flipping upside-down, then lifting his smaller counterpart aloft.
“WOOSH!” went the fluffy white Man Skirts as they flipped upward to expose an eyeful of white Man Tights. (“Mights?”)
“Eeeiii!” screamed my Boston coworker.
“Tee hee!” I replied.
As the dancers thumped towards us with their pom-pom-toed booties and yanked us onto the dance floor for the next hour, I suddenly got really happy. Sometimes I forget: I love to dance, and the wilder the dance is, the happier I get!
As I pranced around, my mind flashed through memories of other parts of the world, and this question surfaced: Why are Americans so afraid of dance?
Have you ever noticed that the hips of Americans are basically cemented into immobility due to a lifetime lack of dancing?
Travel down to Latin America and people can gyrate on command, but at a recent Boston Zumba class I attended, the instructor was forced to devote a third of the class just to practicing rump circles. “Creeeaak!” groaned our rigid hip tendons. We just couldn’t move them, because we rarely do.
What a waste of our bodies to keep them immobile, when they really just want to MOVE!
And what about dance in schools? Dancing brings people joy (once we get over any imbedded cultural fear), so why keep that joy from children?
In the small town in Ghana, West Africa where I taught for three months, all school events had a dancing intermission: a mid-way break where music poured forth and both students and teachers rocked out!
I thank the Greek dancers in their skirts for helping me wonder: Would the students in the Boston school where I teach enjoy having a dancing intermission every now and then???
Want to read another article about a country where men wear a fashion that Americans see as female? Click here to read about man-belly shirts in China!
The author, Lillie Marshall, is a 6-foot-tall National Board Certified Teacher of English, fitness fan, and mother of two who has been a public school educator since 2003. She launched Around the World “L” Travel and Life Blog in 2009, and over 4.2 million readers have now visited this site. Lillie also runs TeachingTraveling.com and DrawingsOf.com. Subscribe to her monthly newsletter, and follow @WorldLillie on social media!
Saturday 16th of May 2015
It's high time men took to the dance floors and started to become the partner of attention as they do their twirlls and twist,ther skirts rising up into the air as they do.Men that keep healthy and have a great set of muscular or or lean mascular legs should be able to flaunt them in skirts. (more basic colored and non floral or decorated as women's skirts) Yes men should finally once and for all go about their buissiness in skirts,showing off their manly hairy strong legs to the ladies.And if us guys just accidently happen to flash our undies while wearing mini skirts on occassion the way women do,it may produce a little uncalled for attention from onlookers.So be it.I actually think women enjoy this sort of attention altough they would never ever admit it....It's about time to put viraleality front and center and let men have the fun and garner the attention that women for so long have been relishing and enjoying for themselves.Yes men have shorts but, shorts in no way even close compare to get the attracting attention of a open bottom mini skirt.Sorry but that's the down home truth,and you know it!! When I'm referring to guys(men) wearing skirts i'm meaning men like the Scottish kilt and manly men and NOT THOSE dressing up trying to pass as women...So skirt designers please,please start marketing a line of well fitting and tailored skirts for us guys.Because,believe me their are alot more of us out ther then you would probaly ever imagine and you'd be making aboat load of money and us guys happy the world over.After all us guys just want to have fun too!!
Friday 22nd of May 2015
I hear you!
Friday 27th of June 2014
Great dances and dances. "Why do they have to wear skirts? " - it's tradition. "Also I feel that men should be forbidden to wear any sort of tights" - where do you get this hang-up? Men have worn tights for centuries. And now its cyclists and skiers and wrestlers - it's manly. Traditionally men's skirts are shorter than women's, think of the Romans. Did you ever see Jesus wearing pants? Folk dances everywhere are a lot of fun.
Monday 18th of June 2012
That's cool. The men get to bring out their dancing side of their personality. I'm also really happy that these men decide to dance despite the costumes they have to wear, because now a days you don't see many men out there dancing.
Friday 15th of June 2012
Can I join the dance? This reminds me of the Irish dance. Why are the men wearing skirts.
Thursday 14th of June 2012
I love the shoes that those men are wearing they look like little pom pom.