About the Hellenic Dancers of NJ

The Hellenic Dancers of New Jersey (HDNJ) reach out to the public through dance, an art form that is a common voice in every culture. Each culture has evolved some sort of dance expression that reflects the milestones of life. In the Greek tradition, each dance expresses the history and daily life of a specific region. These folk dances weave stories through their portrayal of weddings and courting; victory in battle and lamentation of death; baking bread; fetching water from the communal spring; the harvest; fishing; wine festivals and carnival. HDNJ celebrates its culture and heritage by bringing this ancient tradition to the American public, while reinvigorating Greek-Americans with a new awareness and a sense of pride for their roots.

The mission of HDNJ is to research, preserve and perpetuate the regional folk dances of Greece within the Greek community, and to share these rich, cultural traditions with the American public. The organization dedicates itself to the documentation and acquisition of the folk music, customs, dances, clothing and historical information from throughout Greece and the Greek diaspora. HDNJ continues its mission by sharing the richness of this Greek inheritance with younger dancers from throughout the state, and by assuring a sense of pride and cultural awareness within the community.

As the first organization of its kind in New Jersey, HDNJ has evolved to assume a vital role in the community. It has inspired the creation of Greek folk dance groups all over the country, and functions as an integral component in maintaining the tradition of Greek folk dance in America. Many alumni and current dancers also teach Greek folk dance to the youth of the numerous Greek Orthodox communities throughout New Jersey, further solidifying the organization's mission to keep Greek traditions alive in the United States.