Greek dance is a very old tradition, being referred to by ancient authors such as Plato,Aristotle,Plutarch and Lucian. There are different styles and interpretations from all of the islands and surrounding mainland areas. Each region formed its own choreography and style to fit in with their own ways. For example, island have more of a "watery" flow to them, while dancing closer to , is very sharp. There are over 4000 traditional dances that come from all regions of . There are also Pan Hellenic dances, which have been adopted throughout the Greek world. These include the Tsamiko, Syrtos,and Kalamatianos
Traditional Greek dancing has a primarily social function. It brings the community together at key points of the year, such as Easter, the grape harvest or patronal festivals; and at key points in the lives of individuals and families, such as weddings and various festivities.
The dances fall into two distinct categories: The restrained "shuffling" or "dragging" dances and the lively "leaping" dances
The shuffling dances get their name from the fact that the dancers move to the right or to the left with light steps, without leaping. The shuffling dances provide the greatest variety regarding steps, figures, names, melodies and rhythms.
The leaping dances are named after the leaps that characterize the movements of the dancers, with a series of dazzling leaps, turns, and fancy maneuvers. These dances, originated on the ragged mountains of , require strength and lithe movement.