Dance Director Niko Antonopoulos
Originally from Seattle, Washington, Greek Dance instructor, director, student, and performer, Niko Antonopoulos now calls Castro Valley home – and plans to stay! He came to the Bay Area for work but has found that he really loves the sunny California weather and the welcoming Resurrection community. It also helped that he has family in the area (in case you didn’t know, Father Niko Bekris is Niko’s cousin).
Over the years, Niko has lived between the USA and Greece, where he enjoyed participating with dance groups, festivals, panigiria, and ethima (local holiday traditions). Having attended many international seminars, Niko continues to assist and share these experiences with his students. He has been a participant and award-winning director at FDF for over 20 years.
We caught up with Niko and found out that he is the middle child in his family, with one sister older and one younger – and all only one year apart in age. You may not know that Niko is also musically inclined, first learning to play piano, bouzouki, and now percussion. A huge sports enthusiast, Niko is on a Soccer team and plays regularly with his fellow Greek team members in San Francisco, along with shooting hoops with the men’s basketball group at Resurrection. In his spare time, you just might find him riding his motorcycle (he owns both dirt and street bikes), snowboarding, or skiing.
Niko grew up spending his summers in Greece on his grandparent’s farm, where they grew corn, oranges, and lemons, and raised chickens, ducks, goats, pigs, and sheep. One summer, he and his sisters even had a pet lamb, named Spot who hung out with them in the living room!
Niko has always enjoyed being part of the church. He looks up to his parents and was inspired by them and Father Niko at a young age to get involved in the dance groups and to help with the various parish events. As he says, “I’ve been dancing a really long time!” His father taught him that dance is a beautiful expression of the soul – a different form of prayer. He loves to see his students connect to our Greek heritage and Orthodox faith. “Seeing and encouraging the kids to grow into themselves is a beautiful reward.”
Being involved in all aspects of the church community is important to Niko – helping out at the food bank, attending bible study, going to Greek dance, and church music. To Niko, it’s not just about “being Greek” or “Orthodox,” it’s all of the above.
To meet or find out more about Niko, look for him at dance practice in the Agape Hall.