HDF 2020 Organizing Committees

Executive Committee

Metropolitan Alexios of Atlanta

Fr. Mark Leondis, Chair
Eleni Hopes, Vice Chair
Fr. Constantine Simeonidis, Spiritual Advisor
Monica Gjerde, Metropolis Youth Director
Stavros Karagiorgis, FIT Co-Chair
Fr. Sampson Kasapakis, FIT Co-Chair
Venetta Avgeropoulos Jones, Site Selection Advisor

FIT Committee

FIT Co-Chairs: Stavros Karagiorgis & Fr. Sampson Kasapakis

Administration: Susan Marinos
Competition: Stacie Peroulas
Events: John Caras & Bess McClure
Finance: Vassio Giannakopoulos
Judging/Krites: Stacy Kroustalis & Aris Yortizidis
Logistics: Ryan Marinos & George Saad
PR & Communications: Eliana Kioukis & Eleftheria Dako
Registration: Despina Vastakis
VIP/Hospitality: Paula Detweiler
Workshops: Fr. Jon Emanuelson
Host Community Representatives: Raymond Henderer & Effie Hill


Stavros Karagiorgis

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Fr. Sampson Kasapakis


Stacie Peroulas

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 12 years.

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.

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.

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Stacy Kroustalis

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Aris Yortizidis


John Caras


Bess McClure

Stacy has been a member of the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Winston-Salem for more than 25 years. She has a passion for Greek dancing and has been involved with HDF since she began competing in high school.

John recently graduated from the University of Georgia, and 2019 will be his ninth year participating in HDF. John is also one of the directors for the Pyrotechnimata group in Atlanta, GA.

Aris has been a judge at HDF for 14 years and has performed with various groups since 1982. Aris has done continued 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 in Washington, DC.

Bess attends the Cathedral of the Annunciation in Atlanta and recently graduated from Georgia College with a degree in Exercise Science. She has been attending HDF since 2009, both as a dancer and instructor, and she's excited to make this year's HDF the best one yet.


Ryan Marinos


Susan Marinos

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Paula Detweiler

Ryan Marinos is a lifelong member of Annunciation Cathedral in Atlanta, Georgia, where he has been a part of their dance program for 18 years.   He has been participating in HDF since 2009.  In 2013, Ryan earned a full scholarship for the Odyssey trip to Greece.  He is currently a dance instructor at the Cathedral for 3rd to 5th graders.

Susan Marinos is a lifelong member of Annunciation Cathedral in Atlanta, Georgia where she is the Sunday School Coordinator.  Susan has been involved with their dance program for over 40 years as a dancer, board member and parent.  She is currently the Costume Assistant.  Susan was a chaperone on the 2013 Odyssey trip.  She has been participating in HDF since 2005.

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.

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