Yannis Konstantinou has been dancing from childhood alongside his parents, family and friends in the villages of Florina located in northwest Greece, and to this day, his personal teaching and dancing style conveys this lifelong experience. He has a deep passion and commitment to preserving and sharing the local traditions and culture of the various ethnic groups living in Greek Macedonia, and has studied the cross-border influences of neighboring communities on dance and music along the northern border of Greece. Yannis has organized and participated in many cross-border music and dance seminars and performance, and organized a Balkan Children's Dance Festival, the first ever in Greece, where traditional dance groups from across the Balkans performed side-by-side in Athens.
Yannis is an internationally recognized teacher and researcher of traditional dance, participating in numerous seminars in Europe, Asia, Australia and North America. He annually organizes traditional dance seminar in Prespes, Greece that in August 2022 celebrated its 36th anniversary with dancers and musicians from all over the world. Yannis has served as judge at the Greek Orthodox Folk Dance and Choral Festival (FDF) held annually in California on three occasions and has shared his knowledge and philosophy about traditional dance with many Greek-American/Canadian dance groups over the years. In the US, he has been a guest teacher at Ahmet Luleci's World Camp, the Balkanske Igre Spring Festivals and the California Kolo Festival.
Yannis is the founder and president of the highly respected dance association "Lygkistes" which branches in Florina and Athens and has performed extensively throughout Europe including the prestigious LLangollen International Dance competition where the group took second place among 120 competitors. In 2017, they participated in the Surva International Festival of Masquerade Games held in Pernik, Bulgaria.
In addition to serving as artistic director and instructor for "Lygkistes", Yannis regularly teaches the cultural associations of villages of Florina and Amindeo as well as being a guest teacher for many dance associations in Greece and throughout Europe. He was the Artistic Director and instructor of the Florina branch of Lykeion Ellinidon for eight years. In 2014, Yannis organized a series of weekend seminars with teachers like himself, who all their lives have been immersed in the culture, traditions, music and dance of their respective regions, for leaders of Greek dance associations interested in understanding the cultural, social and historical context of the dances that they are performing.
Yannis is married to Hra Koloni, who is a respected dance teacher I her own right and who manages the family-run hotel in Prespes. They live in Florina with their two children, Xenia and Simos, 26 and 20 years old, who represent the third generation of their family’s passion for preserving traditional dance and music.
Achilleas Tsiaras was born and raised in Meliki, Imathia (Macedonia). Meliki is one of the largest villages of Roumlouki in terms of population but also in importance of cultural and dance heritage, as the preservation of many elements of folk culture lasted longer than other villages. Growing up in an environment where these elements were experienced and part of everyday life, Achillea gets incentivized and is led to the observation and documentation of local dances as well studying the local traditional dress in the area. This research and documentation continued in the rest of the Roumlouki villages, giving a more comprehensive and complete picture of the dances and costumes as well as the variations or differences that exist between them.
As an expressor and researcher of the Roumlouki tradition, he teaches dances in local dance associations, participates in dance seminars in Greece and abroad. His study and his research on the Roumlouki costume has been presented in seminars, workshops and courses such as in the Folklore Laboratory of the Historical Archeology Department of the Democratic University of Thrace. In recent years he has been collaborating and compiling (from a dance and costumeperspective) dance groups of the diaspora in America, receiving extremely positive reviews and the first place in the FDF competition festival. He has participated in documentaries, articles in folklore magazines, editing CD publications, radio and other cultural activities. For a number of years he collaborated with the Lykeio Ellinidon of Athens for the publication of a music album dedicated to Roumlouki, which is accompanied by photographs and commentary texts and is a part of the collection of the TEFAA Department of the University of Serres. In addition, he is a collaborator of the Giorgis Melikis Mask Ethnographic Center - Mask Research Center where he edited the permanent exhibition of Roumlouki costumes.
Achilleas Tsiaras is currently a dance teacher at the Folklore Club of Melikis and Perichores, the Folklore Association of Makrohori Localities, the Cultural Associations of Koulouras and Korifi Imathia, while he was a teacher at many Roumoloukio clubs (Alexandria, Kefalochori, Episkopi, Xehaseni, Loutro, Paliohori, etc.). In addition to teaching, he continues researching the dances, songs, costume and customs of Roumlouki. He organizes the revival of customs such as the Rougatsia, the Lazarines, the inter-village dances and oversees the carnival theatrical performances of the Meliki Folklore Club as part of the Meliki Carnival where he is also a member of its committee.
With the same zeal, he researches and records the dances, songs, customs and costume of Namata, Kozani, his father's place of origin, where he is president and teacher of the Association. His research focuses on the villages of Namata, Vlasti and Kleisoura in Kastoria as these three villages show several similarities. He was the curator of the edition of the double CD with music and songs of the Namata (2003), revives with the dance association the custom of Klidona, records the techniques of making and embroidering the traditional costumes of the village and contributes to the preservation of the “Tranos Dance” on the Fifteenth of August.
Finally, he is a founding member of the Vlach Cultural Society of Kozani Prefecture "Fandina". He recently founded in Alexandria with his wife and also a dance teacher, Giouli Dimos, "CHORODRASIS", a cultural workshop of traditional dance and other diverse cultural activities.
Dimitris Mantzouratos was born in 1960 in Argostoli, Kefalonia and lives in Livadi - Lixouriou, Kefalonia. He is married and has two children aged 29 and 17.
Dimitri is an educator (graduate of the Physical Education program with specialization in Tradition Dance – (TEFAA) from Athens) and currently works at the Lyceum of Lixouri as well as a teacher of folk traditional dance in various dance groups. He has done long-term research on Kefalonian dances spanning decades and has taught them in many seminars in Greece and abroad (the Folklore Center for Teachers of Magnesia in Loutra Sidirokastro and Skotina, the Association of Graduate School of Physical Education in Thessaloniki, the Lykeio Ellinidon of Kalamata, the Kallitehniko Ergastiri of Patras, at the Dance Workshop of the Municipality of Alimos, as well as in others in Kozani, Crete, Kefalonia, Zakynthos), Germany, and the United States of America.
In recent years he participated in various trips within Greece & abroad (Italy, Spain, Germany, USA (New York, Seattle) etc.) with dance groups both as a teacher and a dancer.
Michalis Kyprianou was born and raised in the District of Limassol, Cyprus in 1988. From a young age he started his involvement with traditional dance in the classes of the cultural centers of Limassol, and then in the "Cultural Group Nostos Pissouriou" where today he is also a dance teacher.
Michali completed his studies at City Unity College in Athens where he obtained a degree in Physical Education and Sports with a specialization in Greek Traditional Dances.
During this period, he first danced and participated in the performing group of the "Dora Stratou Greek Dance Theatre", in addition to the Pontian Dance Group “Serra” as well as in the "Greek Folk Dance Group of the Municipality of Kallithea" with renowned dance instructors, researchers and figures in the Greek dance field.
Michali has taught dozens of cultural associations and dance groups in Greece and Cyprus over the last 18 years. He has researched, taught and attended in a number of seminars in Cyprus, Greece and abroad with dances of Cyprus as well as other regions of Greece.
In addition to his involvement with traditional Greek dance, Michali also plays traditional Greek music, more specifically wind and percussion instruments.