Dancing culture of the region: 

This dance is probably named for the Tsames in Northern Epirus (today southern Albania), but according to other sources it's named after the clothes of the 'klephtes', the mountain fighters in the Greek War of Independence. The name of the dance comes from the name used to describe the outfits they wore, which were called tsamika. The main feature of the kleftiko costume is the foustanella a white pleated kilt. These types of outfits can still be seen today in parades and special events where they are worn by the special segment of the Greek army call ed Evzones. The dance had already spread from Epirus to Thessaly and Roumeli when it was adopted by the klephtes, who did it before and after battles. They spread the dance further so that today it is panhellenic; it is now most popular in the south. It is traditionally a men's dance and is the best opportunity for a Greek dancer to show off his acrobatic skills. Nowadays women dance it too, with the exception of some of the more acrobatic stunts. It may be danced in 3/4, 3/8, or 6/8 tempo.

The costume for this dance

The most common version in villages and in America consists of 12 slow steps, but the 10-step version seems to be the most common in the major cities of Greece. 8-, 14-, and 16-step versions still exist in some regions. The hold is hand-to-hand, but the hands should be held almost at head level, higher than in other dances such as Kalamatiano. Here, we present the 12-step version. The variations are performed in the following order, with three basic steps between each one. The leader then does some improvisation

Basic Steps:

1: The right foot moves anti-clockwise towards the circumference of the circle and slightly behind/back (swift double step)
2: The left leg moves in the same direction, in front of the right leg, with the toes pointing towards the centre of the circle
3: The right foot kicks the floor gently and is lifted up, with the knee facing the centre of the circle.
4: The right foot swings and steps back and slightly to the right.
5: The left foot steps to the left, this time clockwise.
6: Left foot steps again anti-clockwise, in front of the right foot with toes pointing to the centre.
7: The right foot steps right, toes also pointing to the centre.
8: Jump on to the right foot, lifting the left foot up while bending the knee, with the body facing the centre of the circle.
9: The left foot steps clockwise in a swift double step.
10: The right foot steps clockwise, in front of the left foot.
11: The left foot steps clockwise again.
12: Jump on to the left foot, lifting the right foot up while bending the knee, with the body facing the centre of the circle.


Strofi - Turn clockwise on steps 2 and 3, continue as normal. Turn counterclockwise on steps 10 and 11.

Kato - Squat on step 7, continue as normal.

Eksi-Eksi - After step six, hop on left foot bending right foot slightly, then hop on right foot bending left foot slightly. This move is done moving quite a bit to the right. Continue with step 9 (left foot steps to the left.)

Leventiko - After step six hop forward on left foot bending right foot slightly. Hop on left foot again, kicking right foot til it is straight in front of you. Hop on right foot with left foot slightly bent. Kick left foot forward and step on it. Arms come up and let go of hands. Pivot on the left foot until facing back. Step on right foot and complete the turn by stepping on left. Kick right (as in step 12). Begin basic step.


Strofi - Turn

Kato - Down

Eksi-Eksi - Six six.

Leventiko- has no translation, really. Kind of means cool.

The steps for this dance