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James Gavriles

Ted Sofios

Ted Sofios - Ted Sofios

Ted Sofios, a Greek American, was owner and proprieter, along with his brother John, of the Berkeley, California, restaurant "Aitos Greek Folkdance Taverna," a converted U.S. post office and had a huge hardwood dance floor and walls decorated with large flags of the world's nations. The taverna also had dance orientale shows Fridays, at noon, and Saturday evenings, with featured dancer Najia.

John relates that Ted "learned more than 50 dances while traveling through Greece in the 1960s and 70s. We both learned many dances in San Francisco at John Skow's Studio. The classes there were taught by Johnny Pappas. There were many people who taught at the Taverna. For example, Ruth Browns taught Israeli dancing and Bora Özkök taught Turkish dancing."

Richard Vincent wrote that Ted learned his Greek dancing from Dora Stratou in Athens. He took it up after quitting as a school teacher. He was a good dance teacher and he had the perfect personality to run a place like Aitos. Aitos was a unique place and Richard had many fond memories of it. During the mid-1970s, it was jumping Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday nights. Everyone danced to exhaustion. "No tension, no pretension," someone said, and that was exactly right. Sometimes, some dancers from "The Intersection," a Los Angeles folk dance coffeehouse, would come in. What a party! Then, almost overnight, it died out. Nobody came anymore. It was like losing a brother; it couldn't be replaced. After Aitos (which means "eagle") went under, Ted opened a little deli across from the sugar factory in Crockett. Richard last saw Ted there in about 1981.

Ted Sofios was born on March 14, 1931. He passed away in 1997.

Dances Ted taught included Beratis, Cerigotikos, Kastorianos, Kastrinos, Leventikos, Makedonikos Horos Konstandinou, Mermingas Kefallinias (Koutso-Stamatistos), O Yatros, Pidkhtos Epirou, Seranitsa, Sitiakos, and Tik.


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