Zorba Dance Steps

By Eija Rissanen

Dancing has always been a part of the Greek culture and the tradition continues today. Many of the Greek dances have religious origins but they are also a way to tell stories, have fun and communicate between the different regions of Greece. Zorba is the “traditional” Greek dance made famous by the 1964 movie "Zorba the Greek." The zorba is danced in three parts to alternating tempos. The steps are fairly simple and the different parts can be repeated as many times as desired.

Quick Tempo

Begin with your left foot and step forward. Tap the ball of your right foot next to your left heal. Swing your right leg forward and kick it slightly forward. Swing your right leg forward again and kick it again slightly.

Step behind your left foot with your right foot and kick your left foot slightly forward. Step behind your right foot with your left foot and kick your right foot slightly forward.

Step diagonally back to the right on your right foot and step to the right on your left foot in front of your right foot. Shift your weight back onto your right foot and swing your left foot forward brushing the ball of your left foot next to your right foot as you swing past.

Swing your left foot backward, brushing the ball of your left foot next to your right foot on your right side as you swing past and cross your right foot with your left foot. Repeat these steps as many times as you want.

In and Out and Left and Right

Step forward on your left foot and swing your right foot in a small arc around and in front of your left foot. Step your right foot in front of your left foot and step to the left with your left foot.

Step to the left on your right foot behind your left foot and step to the left on your left foot. Step to the left on your right foot and place your right foot in front of your left foot.

Repeat steps using opposite feet and then repeat again using the original footwork ending with a squat.

Slow Tempo

Step forward on your left foot. Swing your right foot forward with your foot about 12 inches off ground and bend your knee. Step your right foot in front of your left foot and squat. Straighten up from the squat and hold your right foot off the ground, bending your knee.

Step backward diagonally on your right foot and bend your knee while leaning backward with all your weight on your right foot. Keep your left leg straight with the heal on the ground but the toe off the ground.

Repeat once or twice from the beginning.

About the Author

Eija Rissanen is a freelance journalist living in Hawaii. She has a journalism and environmental studies degree from Hawaii Pacific University. Her articles have been published in Kalamalama, the student newspaper of Hawaii Pacific University, and some other environmental and travel publications and Web sites in Europe and the United States.