A small committee can generate a great impact.
Meet the HDF 2018 Executive Committee and Festival Implementation Team (FIT).
Metropolitan Alexios of Atlanta
Fr. Mark Leondis, Chair
Eleni Hopes, Vice Chair
Fr. Constantine Simeonidis, Spiritual Advisor
Julie Moricz, Metropolis Youth, Education & Hellenic Culture Coordinator
FIT Co-Chairs: Stavros Karagiorgis & Venetta Avergopoulos Jones
Administration: Areti "Tina" Klein
Competition: Stacie Peroulas
Events: Charlie Kleto & Jimmy Smith
Finance: Vassio Giannakopoulos
Judging/Krites: Vasi Kourlas & Aris Yortizidis
Logistics: Voula Giannakopoulos
PR & Communications: Mary Rebecca Harakas
Registration: Kiki Missailidis & Victoria Angelakos
VIP/Hospitality: Paula Detweiler
Workshops: Fr. Sampson Kasapakis
Venetta Avergopoulos Jones
Stavros is a Winston-Salem, NC native where he's been actively involved in the local dance program. Stavros has taught groups of all ages, has taught various Greek folk dance workshops throughout the US and Canada, and has served HDF in various capacities over the last 10 years.
Venetta has been a member of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church of Greater Orlando for the past 12 years. She has worked with the church's dance program since 2007 and became involved with HDF in 2009. Venetta's favorite part of HDF is meeting many people who love our Hellenic culture.
Charlie has danced for HDF for the past 12 years and started directing dance groups at his home parish, Holy Trinity in Charlotte, NC. He's been involved with HDF since 2015, and HDF 2018 will be his second year serving as the Events Committee chair.
Born and raised in Newport News, VA, Stacie has taught groups of all age levels and currently dances for Thrylos in Charlotte. Stacie has served as Chair of the Greek Folk Dance Program at Holy Trinity in Charlotte for the past 15 years, which has grown to become one of the largest programs in the US.
Mary Rebecca Harakas
Vasi has been involved with the Greek Folk Dance program with the Heart of Greece in West Palm Beach, FL since 1989. Vasi's parents are both from the island of Lesbos, and she's fond of dances from that region. Vasi has been involved with HDF since 2000 and has been the krites coordinator since 2016.
Aris has been a judge at HDF for 13 years and has performed with various groups since 1982. After receiving an FDF scholarship in 1996 to research dances in various regions of Greece, Aris continued his research and has obtained a vast knowledge of dances. He and his wife, Anna, are co-founders of the Byzantio Greek Dance and Cultural Arts program based on Washington, DC.
Mary Rebecca has served the Church in a variety of capacities, including as a counselor at St. Stephen's Camp in 2011, a counselor at Ionian Village in 2014, co-chair of the Triangle Young Adult League for two years and as a dancer in the group at Holy Trinity, Raleigh. Currently living in Atlanta, GA, she's excited for her first year as Communications Chair for HDF.
Born and raised in Atlanta, Jimmy began studying Byzantine music at 17 years old, under the tutelage of Leo Modenos and Dr. Constantine Kokenes. For the last five years, he's served as the protopsaltis of Saints Raphael, Nicholas and Irene Greek Orthodox Church in Cummings, GA.
Fr. Sampson Kasapakis
Kiki has served as the HDF Registration Chair for 7 years. Kiki enjoys serving the Church and the Metropolis of Atlanta by volunteering with the Youth Programs. She's married with three children who have each participated as dancers at the Atlanta parish.
As a South Florida native, Victoria is a member of St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Victoria has served the Church in various capacities, including 15 years as a participant and instructor in the Church's dance program, a 2013 Odyssey recipient, a St. Stephen's camp counselor and a Sunday School teacher.
Fr. Sampson was born in Chicago and eventually moved to Sarasota, FL. After graduating from Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in 2014, Fr. Sampson served as the Youth Director and Pastoral Assistant at St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Fort Lauderdale, FL. On September 14, 2015, he was ordained into the Holy Priesthood at St. Nicholas in Tarpon Springs, FL where he currently serves.
Currently living in Williamsburg, VA, Paula is a member of Saints Constantine and Helen in Newport News, VA. She and her family have served HDF since 2012, and they look forward to the weekend each year. After making new friends each year at HDF, Paula sees HDF as one of a few events where all are able to enjoy authentic Greek folk dances and celebrate the love for our culture and faith.
Why do you support the Hellenic Dance Festival?
Love for our great Faith and rich tradition.
"Allowing young people to offer their gifts and talents to our Lord is a true expression of their love for our great Faith and our rich tradition. The hard work, hours of practice and the genuine smiles on their faces confirms their deep devotion to our Church"
- Fr. Mark
Coming together in prayer, fellowship and love.
"My beloved, the Hellenic Dance Festival Weekend is a beautiful opportunity for our young people to express their love of our Hellenic Heritage. It is a joy to see our families come together in prayer, fellowship, and love as we celebrate the richness of our culture and faith. I pray that the HDF Weekend will continue to provide opportunities for all the faithful to appreciate the beauty of Greece through music, song, and dance."
- His Eminence Metropolitan Alexios
Are you ready? Register today and join the excitement. See you in Orlando.
HDF 2018 will be held in Orlando, FL on January 12 to 15.