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Iosif Papasifakis

has, by right, a very special place in the modern musical and dance tradition of Sfakia. Sifis, as he is widely known to his fellow-villagers and friends was born in Anopoli, a village in the area of Sfakia. He was introduced to the musical and dance tradition of his village and thanks to his love and passion for traditional dances, he was soon recognised - not only- by his fellow-villagers as an important dance teacher. It should also be noted that he was one of the founding members of the musical and dance association "Sfakia" in 1991, contributing thus to the diffusion of the musical and dance tradition of our area to the younger generation.

He has a charismatic way of teaching, which derives not only from his interest in dance but also from his love for children and teaching in general. Those of us -either active members of the association or not- who were lucky enough to be introduced by him to the magic of the Cretan dances, we should underline his flawless character, his ethos, his patience and his ability to communicate with his students. His teaching is not just a conventional dance lesson but a ritual, a lesson of civilization at the same time. It is thanks to him, to a great extent, that the modern Sfakians have come to know and appreciated their cultural roots. His success is based on a remarkable combination of his deep knowledge of dancing, his ability to communicate with his students and the grandeur of his soul.

For all that he has done, our area owes him a big thank-you and we whole-heartedly wish him to continue his work with the same strength, being helped, however, but the new generation that he himself has educated culturally all those years.