Orpheus Dance Instructors

Yannis Economou, Principal Instructor Kostas Economou, Principal Instructor  

Yannis Economou
Principal Instructor

Kostas Economou
Principal Instructor

Andoni Platis
Principal Instructor



Christina Kokoris
Nea Genia and Youth Instructor

Nikki Tsolakidis
Youth Instructor
Stavroula Nicolaou
Youth Instructor
Eftihia Angel Tina c
Eftihia Mouroukos
Youth Instructor
Angel Ramirez
Youth Instructor
Tina Ioannidis
Youth Instructor
Chris Peroulas
Youth Instructor

Orpheus has focused on carrying out its mission by educating both Greek and non-Greek communities concerning the richness of the Hellenic folk culture and heritage through folk dance performances, dance workshops and lectures.  Set forth below are the biographies of Orpheus' instructors.

John Economou, Principal Instructor Constantine Economou, Principal Instructor

Yannis and Kostas Economou grew up in Athens Greece and came to Chicago in 1984.  Their first organized Greek folk dance experience was with the troupe of a local Greek church.  The instructor, Nikos Kourtis, was a 15-year veteran of the Lyceum of Greece Dance Theater of Thessaloniki.  In 1989, Mr.  Kourtis, Yanni and Constantine founded the Orpheus Dance Troupe.  Following Mr. Kourtis’ departure to Greece in 1991, Yannis and Kostas carried out the leadership and responsibilities of the Troupe.

As the principal instructors of Orpheus, Yanni and Kostas conduct the beginners, intermediate and advanced levels of instruction on a weekly basis.  They have continuously increased the Troupe’s repertoire of dances by their participation in various Greek folk dance workshops in the USA, Canada and Greece.

Together with Marianna Damianides-Gudmundsson, Yannis Economou has been awarded an Illinois Arts Council Grant for 1996- 1997, for his work in maintaining and expressing the Greek community’s aesthetic heritage and tradition, in addition to the preservation of the state’s cultural heritage.


Andoni Platis was born and raised in sunny Tucson, AZ and has been dancing since the age of 6. His family is from the area of northern Peloponessos, more specifically the district of Kalavryta. Andoni has taught Greek dance for over 8 years for the parish of St. Demetrios in Tucson, instructed other parishes and dance troupes, and has participated as director and dancer at the Greek Folk Dance festival winning numerous awards. In addition, he has done field research in the areas of Crete, Naxos, Mykonos, and Paros and has attended more than half a dozen workshops spanning all areas of Greece. His favorite areas of Greek dance are Cretan, island, and Pontic, with a particular emphasis on how Greek cultural traditions influence the Greek religious traditions and vice versa. Andoni is a graduate from the University of Arizona, having attained a Bachelors in Speech and Hearing Sciences and Classics and a Masters degree in Medical Pharmacology. His favorite dances are Maleviziotikos (Crete) and Pano Choros (Karpathos).

Christina Kokoris joined the Youth Group in 2008. Growing up, she saw her brother participate in the group and knew it was something she wanted to do as well. Christina was the recipient of the Dina Sianis Merit Award in 2013, participated at HDF in 2014 through 2022 and looking forward to attend HDF 2023 in Atlanta, Georgia. She has also participated in dance workshops throughout the country as well as in Canada. She started instructing in the youth group in 2015, and starting instructing New Genia in 2021. Although her family is from Lesvos and Crete, she enjoys doing dances from Naxos the most. She graduated in 2021 from DePaul University with a degree in Secondary Education and is currently working as a teacher in District 219.


Nikki Tsolakidis started Greek dancing when she was just 7 years old, but joined Orpheus in 2014, when she was 12. She has developed a strong love for Greek dancing ever since. Nikki is a freshman at Loyola University in Chicago, where she is a part of the Hellenic Student Association. She is very proud of her Macedonian and Pontian roots and especially enjoys doing dances from those regions of Greece. Nikki is honored to have received the Dina Sianis Merit Award in 2018 and loves doing anything to further preserve her Greek culture. Being in Nea Genia has been an amazing experience of Nikki's and she's excited to be participating in yet another HDF this year. Other hobbies of Nikki's include singing and figure skating.


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