What exactly is FDF? Is it just a dance or singing competition? It's much more. It's about Faith, Dance & Fellowship.
FDF is a ministry of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of San Francisco. The acronym FDF is defined as "Folk Dance Festival." However there are many that define FDF for what the program symbolizes, Faith Dance, & Fellowship. Many members of our community have fond memories of FDF competitions because they met many new friends and in some cases their future spouse through FDF.
How did FDF get started?
Metropolitan Anthony of blessed memory realized that through song and dance our youth can learn about their faith as well as their ethnic identity. Every region of Greece has their own customs, traditions, songs, and dances. The first competition was held in 1977. Another followed in 1978 and on Feb. 10, 1979 bylaws creating the Greek Orthodox Folk Dance & Choral Festival Ministry were finalized. Through Metropolitan Anthony and Peter Preovolos’ leadership FDF evolved into the largest youth ministry of the San Francisco Metropolis.
Parish Dance Groups
Most of the parishes within the San Francisco Metropolis have dance groups. There are typically three groups, 1) Under 10 years old (elementary school age), 2) 10–14 old (junior high age), and 3) 14-18 years old (high school age). Many groups practice to the point where they could be thought of as professional dancers. Many visitors from Greece have made the comment that several groups of the 14-18 year olds are just as good as professional dancers in Greece. They are just amazing!
At FDF, everyone is a winner.
- It’s about the dancers who practice feverishly to make sure that every dance step is in sync.
- It’s about the directors who volunteer their time to make sure their young dancers understand the balance of friendly competition and importance of their faith and culture.
- It’s about the singers and choral directors who express their Greek heritage and faith through beautiful song.
- It’s about the dedicated volunteers who have passion for the Orthodox faith and passion for their Greek heritage.
Even though FDF contains an element of competition, it should never be the highlight or become the sole purpose for coming together to participate. Medals and awards should always be viewed and used as an expression of appreciation from one dancer to another in honor of the recipient's determination, dedication and accomplishment.
For more information on FDF, please visit the FDF web site.
2013 Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Annunciation, San Francisco