[Full notes] [Summary notes] [Other dances & the source code]

Formation Open circle or line. Fortress hold
Dance Structure (A x 8 + B x 8) repeated to the end of the music.
Music Structure 5 counts/bar, 8 bar phrases.
Music Speed 95 counts/min.
Source Mostly Sally Fletcher in Ipswich 1996. Alternative styling from Ollie (Clyde Oliver) at his Greek SIFD day course in London 2004.

Disclaimer: Mistakes are quite likely in the notes and no guarantees are made as to accuracy. There may be other versions of the same dance or other dances with the same name. Music may differ, particularly in speed, introduction and duration, between performers. The division into parts, bars & counts might not be standard. These notes of the dance are freely distributable (under GPL or CC-by-sa) in so much as the note's author's contribution but the choreography and/or collection were by other people and so their copyright might apply to the dance itself. Better than using notes, go to a dance class where it is taught.

A very easy slow traditional Greek dance. In Greece it is one of the most ancient of the popular dances. In the UK it is also popular with Sacred Circle dancers.

The rhythm is not straightforward and I have counted it non-standardly. To me the rhythm sounds like "ONE two Three four a-Five" in Part A (i.e. four normal beats then an extra one tagged on after a short pause) and "ONE two Three err Four" in Part B (i.e. four normal beats but with the ending of the third beat extended). It is easier to dance to than to describe in text!

The version with the swaying is from Sally's beginner's dances course, the plain styled version is from Ollie & the song is from Ollie's partner.

Style: Small slow quiet discrete steps. The steps are almost in place but one does move to the R, albeit very slowly. The line sways back and forth with the steps onto the R & L feet. The sways are vital to the feeling of the dance as usually danced in the UK.


Half a phrase (instrumental). Start dancing when the singing starts. (However, it is a well known traditional tune that exists in many different recordings therefore the length of introduction & number of repeats is not reliable.)

Part A

Summary: Facing centre. R back R small. In place L, R, L. R little raise & ball touch close.

Start Facing the centre of the circle. Fortress hold.
1 R back and slightly to the R.
2 L in place.
3 R in place.
4 L in place.
a R raises a little off the ground.
5 Touch R ball to the ground without weight beside middle of L foot.

Part B

Summary: Facing centre. R back R small. L across infront. R back R small. L lift across infront pause. L across infront.

Start Facing the centre of the circle. Fortress hold.
1 R back and slightly to the R.
2 L across infront.
3 R to the side behind (i.e. keeping up with L foot with same relative position).
err Pause with L lifted across infront.
4 Finish that step by taking weight stepping on L across infront.

Alternative Styling

A plainer styling is to have no sways and to face to the acw around the circle the whole time. All the steps other than the lifts become simple small low walking steps forwards. The R lift & touch in Part A becomes R close with a small scuff without weight transfer (so Part A is just walk R, L, R, L, touch close R). The L lift in Part B becomes a plain lift infront with upper leg to horizontal & lower leg vertically down (so Part B is just walk, R, L, R, lift L, walk L).

This is a traditional Greek style of doing it. I don't know if the way with sways (which is the usual way it is done in the UK) is a traditional style from another region of Greece, an ornamented stage choreography or a Sacred Circle dance adaptation. (I personally prefer the swaying style.)


The dance is traditionally (in Greece) done to unaccompanied singing by the dancers with the leader singing a line and the followers repeating it. Part A is danced to the first half of each verse & Part B to the second. There is almost a staccato cutting short of the last syllable at the end of every 4 counts with a pause after. The singing is done high pitched (for a man) with a lot of buzzing nasal resonance.

Verse 1: (English transcription) "Swee-pah mar-nar, kar-leh mar-nar. Swee-pah mar-nar, pan-dray-psay-mair." x 2, "Swee-pah mar-nar, pan-dray-psay-mare. Spee-ton-ee-koh-kee-ray-psay-mair." x 2.

Verse 2: (English transcription, ('th' is a 't' & a 'h' sound not an eth or thorn). "Yay-ron arn-dra, kar-leh mar-nar. Yay-ron arn-dra, mee mou doh-sees." x 2, "Yay-ron arn-dra, mee mou doh-sees. Tees-tay-rar thar may-tarn-yoh-sees." x 2,