This amazing photograph is used with the permission of Richard “Dick” Oakes, a noted folk dance teacher, performer and author. We found the photo on www.phantomranch.net, a site dedicated to international folk dancing that is curated by Mr. Oakes. While he isn’t sure exactly what dance they’re doing in the photo, he thinks the picture may have originally belonged to Athan Karras, A Greek-born American dancer, actor and instructor.
The Phanton Ranch website focuses on folk dance in California, starting in the mid-1900s. Some sections of the site have been moved to the website of the Folk Dance Federation of California, South, Inc., but you can still find dozens of detailed dance notes organized alphabetically. Background information, dance steps and movement descriptions, music notes and in some cases, song lyrics in English and the native language are presented.
Many thanks to Dick Oakes for preserving a treasure trove of folk dance history and information.