Grecian Odyssey Dancers
The Grecian Odyssey Dancers of Ypapanti first represented the Presentation of Christ Greek Orthodox Church of East Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in may of 1981, at the 25th Annual Pittsburgh Folk Festival. The Ypapanti dancers invited interested young Greek-Americans from the neighboring Greek Orthodox parishes to join with them to represent the Greeks of the Pittsburgh area at the International Folk Festival. After that first performance, the twenty-six dancers decided to form a permanent group, that has danced before more than 800 audiences since then.
The Grecian Odyssey Dancers perform most frequently in the tri-state (PA, OH, WV) area, at Greek festivals, international shows, academic institutions, religious and civic celebrations, and private parties. They have also performed in Michigan, Florida, and on three performance tours of Greece. Their repertoire includes approximately thirty Greek folk dances from the islands, as well as the mainland of Greece. All of their shows are presented in native costumes, of which they have five sets, representing various regions of Greece.
The group practices at the Presentation of Christ Greek Orthodox Church in East Pittsburgh, and welcomes dancers from all around the city of Pittsburgh to join with them in representing the Church and their Greek traditions. The current roster includes forty young men and women, between the ages of 15 and 55, comprised of students and professionals who are dedicated to sharing their Greek heritage with others. Mary Doreza has served as the Director since 1981, and appreciates the help of the current Assistant Directors, Michelle Kotsagrelos and Jamie Orfanopoulos. The Assistant Directors also instruct the Junior Olympian Dancers of Ypapanti, who range between the ages of 7 and 15. The efforts of everyone are entirely voluntary.
Director - Mary Doreza
Assistant Directors - Michelle Kotsagrelos & Jamie Orfanopoulos
President - Kristina Milburn
Vice Presidents - Jerry Athans & Johnny Ray Kokales
Secretary - Desiree Markantone
Treasurer - Peter Clyde Papadakos
Web/Media - Peter J. Anthony