Greek dancing has always played an important role in the life of 23-year -old Michael Mournehis, who believes it’s a great way of expressing feelings, emotions and celebrating life. When Michael, the Director and Dance Teacher at the Greek Dance Academy Sydney, hears any kind of Greek music- from traditional to modern- his automatic instinct is to get up and dance.
This all started at the age of 14 when Michael recalls, “I really started to fall in love with Greek dancing.”
His father along with two other gentlemen started Greek dancing classes at the Cypriot Club in Stanmore, which is still a much-loved Community centre for Cypriots and Greeks in Sydney. Michael’s upbringing was of course filled with music, dance and beautiful Greek Cypriot culture.
Michael has continued to embrace his background along with his younger sister and business partner, Georgia who are currently teaching the younger generation Greek and Cypriot dances, with choreography inspired from old Greek black and white films, as well as from their father and ancestors.
GCT recently sat down with Director and Dance teacher Michael Mournehis to ask him a few questions about his Dancing Academy
What inspired you to start your own Greek Dancing School?
Apart from the fact that I absolutely love to dance to Greek music, which is my favourite thing to do, I am also seriously inspired by the sounds, with a lot of inspiration coming not from the modern but Laika songs, including artists such as George Dalaras, who I grew up listening to.
When did you officially start your own Dance School?
We started in October 2015. We had one class with about 8 students and now we have 3 classes with thirty kids altogether. I also have a few private clients as well, which I love.
What does it mean for you to teach Greek Dancing?
I’m all about finding a purpose in life and the reason why you are here, and one of the purposes for me I think, is to teach Greek Dancing and to pass on what I know. I absolutely love the teaching side of things. I love seeing a child go from absolutely two left feet, to knowing how to dance, that is really touching. Especially one child who I’ve been teaching for a couple of years now- when I watch him dance- I see myself in him and that is really amazing.
What has been your favourite performance?
My favourite performance was from many years ago, where we danced for a Telstra Business Centre Function. The crowd was predominately Indian, there wasn’t a single Greek there, but they went absolutely nuts, like they had never seen something like it before. This has become one of my favourite performances, as I also love dancing for people who are non-Greek, as they see and experience something different.
What days do you teach and where in Sydney?
Right now, I have classes on every Thursday and Saturday at St Martins Anglican Church in Blakehurst. My Thursday class is from 7:30pm – 9:00pm for children aged 15 years and above. My first Saturday class is from 1:30pm-2:30pm for children aged 4-8 years old, and then later my 2:30pm -3:30pm class for children aged 8-14 years old. I’m also available for private classes. For any information about my classes or private lessons, please feel free to email me at [email protected]