The Kalamatiano — a twelve-step program

This week in class we dance a simplified version of the Greek Kalamatiano, one of the ancient nation’s most widely known dances. The reason we’re doing a simplified version, other than the fact that kids in our classes are often toddlers and they do a simplified version o every dance, is that the Kalimatiano is tricky. The dance has 12 steps – 10 counterclockwise (“forward”) and two clockwise (“backward”), and the 12 steps interact with a rhythm that has 7 beats, which come in three groups – 3 + 2 + 2. Whatever the footwork, when we dance we can all sing along with one of the most famous kalamatiano songs, “Milo Mou Kokkino” counting as we go: “Slow, quick quick, slow, quick quick” or “Long, short short, Long short short.”

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