Greek Dancers of the Monterey Peninsula
The Greek Village Dancers
A group of today's Village Dancers line up after a performance at Forest Hill Manor in Pacific Grove. From left: Judy Lind (sound technician), Darold Skerritt, Sabreh Gross, Marialice Champe, Don Morehead, Zorba, Mary Lounsbury, Roger Wetmore, Chuck Chernoff, Joanna Bonnell.
In its early days, the Monterey Greek Dancers had two performing groups: the Hellenic Dancers of the Monterey Peninsula and the Greek Village Dancers.
The Hellenic Dancers of the Monterey Peninsula consisted of a small group of advanced students. They wore a variety of authentic Greek costumes and performed for major local community events. This highly skilled group specialized in exciting and difficult dances and their performances were much sought after.
The Greek Village Dancers included all students who had completed the beginning Greek folk dance classes. The women of this group wore a graceful costume, designed by one of its members, based on festival dresses of Thrace in Northern Greece. The men wore simple dark trousers, traditional white Greek shirts, and red sashes. They performed primarily for convalescent hospitals, where patients welcomed their enthusiasm, warmth, and friendliness.
The two performing groups now have merged, since eventually membership overlap was almost total. Called the Greek Village Dancers of the Monterey Peninsula, they specialize in performing a variety of authentic ethnic dances of Greece and its neighboring countries.
The dancers provide free entertainment monthly at various Monterey Peninsula convalescent homes and hospitals. For these performances they wear the original Village Dancers costume. The group also dons a variety of Greek costumes to perform at festivals such as those held each year by the Greek Orthodox church in Monterey, and for the Pacific Grove Feast of Lanterns, Carmel Performing Arts Festival, and First Night Monterey.