HISTORY OF THE GROUP

The Refugee Folklore Group "I ADOULOTI" Shakalli was created in 1975 and was registered as a Society in 1979. The idea for its formation belongs to the late dance-teacher and choreographer Mikis Shakallis.
 
The Group came to life during very difficult times, the first year after the Turkish invasion in Cyprus, when some young refugees, mainly from the Kyrenia district, met again in the free part of Cyprus. They then decided to keep alive and nurture the memory of their occupied homeland, until their return. The Group was and is temporarily based in Nicosia.

The first two appearances of the Group were under the Cyprus Red Cross Society efforts to cover the great needs of the island's refugees. As the demand for more and more appearances grew, so did the number of members of the group and its destinations. Invitations came from all over the world, wherever Greek/Cypriot refugees had fled to and desperately needed a "taste" from home.

Within a few years the Group was informally recognized as an "ambassador of our cultural heritage" by the state. In fact the first honorary president of the Group was the then (1980) Minister of Education and Culture, Mr Stelios Katsellis. In the early 2000s the founder of the Group, became the second honorary president passing on the torch to the younger generations.

To date, the group numbers more than 200 active and/or non-active members (dancers, musicians, and other folkkore artists) who all share the same vision: to keep the traditions and the hope for return alive.
 

 

BIOGRAPHY OF THE FOUNDER

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Mikis Shakallis was born in the Apostolos Loukas district in Lapithos, on February the 26th 1946. His parents were Polykarpos and Anthoula Shakalli.

He attended the 1st Urban School of Lapithos, and then the Lapithos High-School. During his school years Mikis Shakallis was a student athlete in track sports and particulary in the high jump. The long jump and decathlon. He excels in student, teen and mens games, both pancyprian and panhellenic. His best performance was when he achieved the pancyprian record high jump at 1.97m which he held for six continuous years. He was an athlete of 'Praxandros Gymnastics Society' and during his studies in Athens Gymnastics Academy he was also an athlete of Panathinaikos, Athens.

 
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He served his army time in the Special Forces of the National Guard.

It was right after when Mikis finds his love of life, the charismatic and lovable girl from Karavas, Maro Koshiari; a powerful presence in their common path the years to come. They have two children Christos and Elena.

Mikis Shakallis then gets appointed as a teacher of Physical Education in Lapithos Gymnasium. His dedication to his work and the integrity of his character help him to produce results that many could envy; for many years he kept  finding and rise young talents in track sports at Lapithos Gymnasium. Meanwhile he was an active coach in athletic societies in Kerynia district such as Praxandros Gymnastic Society, AEK Karavas Athletic Union and in Agios Georgios Kerynias. For years he remains member of the National Track Team of Cyprus.
When the APOL (Athletic and Intellectual Society of Lapithos) call Mikis Shakkalis to contribute, he does that willingly and without any personal or financial profit. He creates a mixed dancing group, men and women, where he teaches the 'zempekiko' with his unique way and style; as well as cypriot folk dances and greek dances.
Next step was the formation of APOL Lapithos volleyball team. In 1973 Mikis Shakallis with Pambos Petrides, both coaches and players of the APOL Lapithos volleyball team, lead the team to the final phase of the First Category National Champioship of the Cyprus Volleyball Association.


 
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The coup in July of 1974, followed by the Turkish invation on Cyprus destroys everything planned by Mikis and he with his family migrate to Leicester UK. He works at a restaurant in order to supply the basic goods for his family. A while after, he moves to Crete where he starts teaching. In 1975 he returns to Cyprus and continue his service as a teacher of Physical Education in Pancyprian Gymnasium.
 
During the same time, in 1975, Mikis and his life-partner Maro form the Refugee Fokloric Group "I Adouloti" Shakalli. The group participates in various events and festivals both locally and abroad. 
Around the same time, they open a dancing school (Shakallis Dance School) where they teach cypriot folk dances, greek dances 


Throughout the years, Mikis Shakallis was one of the main 'pillars' of both the "Adouloti" Group and the Shakallis Dance School. He was teaching greek dances, cypriot folkloric dances and was the President of the Group until his sudden 'departure' on October 12th, 2014. 
His legacy and teachings remain alive as of today.

Group's Aims

The aims of the Group, as mentioned in its Memorandum, is the maintenance and advancement of the folkloric dances, songs, music and customs of Cyprus. For the achievement of these goals, an effort is made to include as members of the Group all those interested in folk dancing, singing, music and generally with Cyprus folklore. In addition, the co-operation with other clubs of the same nature in Cyprus and abroad is encouraged. The ultimate goal of this co-operation is the maintenance and advancement of Cyprus and its folklore, as well as meeting cultures of foreign countries. The basic means for the achievement of these goals are the performances given both in Cyprus and abroad.

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