Identity and social connection of Greek dancing in diaspora

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Avgoulas, Maria-Irini
Fanany, Rebecca
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Modern Greek Studies Association of Australia and New Zealand
© 2019 the authors
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This paper will discuss findings from a qualitative study undertaken in Melbourne, Australia that investigated Greek dancing as an aspect of cultural identity and wellbeing. This research involved nineteen participants (four male and fifteen female) recruited from a well-established, long standing dancing school in Melbourne. These students were enroled in either the senior, adult or performance group. The participants were interviewed about their participation in Greek dancing and the meaning it had for them as well as their reason for participation. There were a number of differences among the participants, which included country of birth (Australia or Greece), age, dancing class, and length of experience. Despite this, the diaspora experience of the participants was particularly significant, and the core reason for participating in Greek dancing of all participants was to express their identity and manifest their Hellenic heritage in diaspora. Preserving this heritage was important to all participants and served as a vehicle for social connection that enhanced their physical and emotional wellbeing.
© 2019 the authors
Greek dancing, Cultural identity, Hellenic heritage
Avgoulas, M & Fanany, R 2019, 'Identity and social connection of Greek dancing in diaspora', Journal of Modern Greek Studies (Australia and New Zealand) — Special Issue, pp. 217-231.