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The Fashion and Meaning of Greek Men in Skirts Dancing

Traditional Greek dancing with traditional fluffy white Man Skirts.

Traditional Greek dancing with traditional fluffy white Man Skirts.

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.

Wild Greek dancing means the Man Skirt lifts to show Man Tights!

Wild Greek dancing means the Man Skirts lift to show Man Tights!

“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?

A "dancing intermission" during a school event in Ghana, West Africa.

A “dancing intermission” during a school event in Ghana, West Africa.

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!

We love your style and flair, traditional Greek dancers!

We love your style and flair, traditional Greek dancers!

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 naked man-belly shirts in China!

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