Caroline Simmonds is a Bay Area dancer and teacher of northern Greek dances, specializing in regions bordering other Balkan countries. After attending her first dance seminar in Prespes, Greece, 20 years ago (a life-altering experience), Caroline began traveling to Greece every year to dance with the local people at village festivals (panegiria) and attending traditional celebrations held throughout the year. From these experiences, she developed an appreciation of the cultural and social aspects of traditional dance and music in the everyday lives of local communities.
Caroline lived in Athens for four years where she had many opportunities to learn from regional specialists and to dance with local musicians in Greece. Since moving to the Bay Area in 2004, she has tried to “import” and share her experience by organizing workshops and evening parties in the U.S. with Yannis Konstantinou, a renowned dancer from Florina. In 2010, they conducted a tour with the Florina musicans, Makedonikos Ichos, which included music and dance workshops and parties in the Bay Area, San Jose, Los Angeles, and San Diego. Caroline is also an enthusiastic supporter of U.S.-based Greek bands, arranging parties and events to promote them.