Sophomore Kristina Humphrey explains what it’s like to be a greek dancer

Dancing+to+the+beat+of+Greek+music%2C+sophomore+Kristina+Humphrey+performs+at+the+2016+St.+Louis+County+Greek+Festival.

Maddie Cooke

Dancing to the beat of Greek music, sophomore Kristina Humphrey performs at the 2016 St. Louis County Greek Festival.

Although school activities like orchestra, debate, theater and improv take up a great amount of sophomore Kristina Humphrey’s time, she makes an effort to be involved outside of school in Greek dance as well.

Since she was able to walk, Humphrey has participated in Greek dance at her congregation, Assumption Greek Orthodox Church.

“Greek dance is one of the ways that people at my church bring culture from Greece to St. Louis,” Humphrey said.

An important cultural aspect of of Greek dance is the music. Greek dancers use a variety of music, derived from different areas throughout Greece, so all dancers have an opportunity to dance to music that corresponds with their family’s roots.

“We do dances that reflect cultures all over Greece,” Humphrey said. “For example, the islands, where my family is from, usually have more free flowing music with more [string] instruments, but regions like Thrace and Macedonia, in northern Greece, have more structured music with drums and bagpipes.”

Based off of the effort of a community, rather than an individual, Greek dancing is different from other forms of dance.

“It’s pretty much dancing in a circle and using different steps,” Humphrey said. “But you have to stay unified as a group while dancing, and you have to stay in beat with the music.”

In May, Humphrey gets a chance to perform at the Greek Festival; she prepares for two hours every Sunday in preparation.

“The Greek festival is so much fun; we perform about four times a day on Memorial Day weekend from Friday to Monday,” Humphrey said. “We have Greek food, live music and, of course, dancing.”

Though taking part in Greek dance adds onto Humphrey’s busy schedule, she loves it.

“My favorite part of Greek dancing is when I’m at a Greek party or wedding and immediately knowing which dance to do and having a lot of fun dancing with all of my friends,” Humphrey said.