PROFILES

  Alexander Marković is the Head Instructor of the Ellas Dancers of Chicago alongside his colleague Tom Papadopoulos. Alex has been researching, dancing, and performing folk dances from the Balkans for nearly two decades. He has actively danced Serbian folk dance since he was 10, and has taught Serbian folk dance since he was 18. He instructed youth dance groups of various ages at St George Serbian Orthodox Church in Schererville, IN, as well as at Holy Resurrection Serbian Orthodox Cathedral on Redwood Drive in Chicago, IL. Alex also has many years of experience dancing, researching, and teaching Hellenic dance traditions, beginning with Pontian dances in the performing group of the "Xeniteas" Pontian Society of Chicago at the age of 15 and continuing with dances from all other regions of Greece as a member of "Makedonia" (later "Hellas") of the Macedonian Society of Greater Chicago. Aside from his work with the "Ellas Dancers of Chicago", Alex also periodically offers public workshops on Serbian and Greek folk dances at the invitation of various institutions and festivals.
In addition to researching and dancing Serbian and Greek folk dances, Alex is a Ph.D. student in cultural anthropology at the University of Illinois-Chicago. His dissertation research investigates musical performances by Roma ("Gypsy") musicians, local wedding traditions, and ethnic relationships between Roma and Serbs in Vranje, southeastern Serbia.

  Tom Papadopoulos is the President, Instructor, and Webmaster of the Ellas Dancers of Chicago. Tom began dancing at the age of 7 at Protypo Hellenic School and began dancing professionally at the age of 15 with Orpheus Dance Troupe. In 1997 Tom was one of the founding members and Instructors of the "Makedonia" Dance Troupe of the Macedonian Society. In 2009 Tom became a founding member of the Ellas Dancers of Chicago. To add to his vast knowledge of Hellenic Folklore Tom continues to attend workshops internationally and in the United States.
Throughout the years Tom has taught at various Greek Schools throughout Chicagoland such as: Protypo Peiraiko Hellenic School, St. Demetrios in Elmhurst, and Holy Trinity.
  Other than dancing Tom's other interests include computers. He received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Electronics Engineering in 2001. In 2008 he started Lightning Computers, his own business specializing in computer sales and services and Technologies. In addition, Tom is the webmaster of the Ellas Dancer's of Chicago along with several ohter websites.

  George Tsiagalis is the Vice President and an assistant instructor of the Ellas Dancer of Chicago. In 1997 George began dancing at the Protypo Peiraiko Hellenic School in Addison. It was during his time in Greek school where his skills as a dancer and as a student began to flourish. In 2008 George began dancing professionally for the Hellas Dancers of the Macedonian Society. In 2009 George became a founding member of the Ellas Dancer of Chicago. George continues to research and learn about Greek dance and folklore through extensive literature review and by attending workshops and seminars. Furthermore, George has graduated from the University of Illinois-Chicago. He has earned his Bachelor of Science in Bioengineering and is specializing in cell and tissue engineering and in drug delivery in the brain.

  Lambrini Melegos Papadopoulos is the Secretary of the Ellas Dancers of Chicago. Lambrini began dancing from a very young age at Protypo Hellenic School. While at Protypo, Lambrini developed a love for dancing and Hellenic folklore. Since 1999 Lambrini has taught Hellenic Dance at Protypo Peiraiko Hellenic School to students 4-18 years of age. In 2002 Lambrini joined "Makedonia" Dance Troupe and has performed at various functions across the United States and Canada. In 2004 Lambrini taught Hellenic Folklore for a semester at the Our Lady Immaculate Church in Oak Park. While at Our Lady Lambrini taught the students ages 6-14 Hellenic dances, songs, history and language. In 2005 Lambrini was nominated and accepted into International Dance Council's "Who's Who of Hellenic Dance Teachers." In 2008 Lambrini was elected as a delegate for SAE and became a member of SAE's cultural committee. As a member of the cultural committee she was on the team that organized the first annual America's Greek Dance Competition. In 2009 Lambrini became a founding member of the Ellas Dancers of Chicago. In order to add to her knowledge of Hellenic Folklore Lambrini continues to attend workshops internationally and in the United States.
  Along with teaching Hellenic Dance in the evening and on the weekends, Lambrini's day time job is a Mechanical Engineer. She received her Bachelors Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Northwestern University in 2005. Currently Lambrini works for Sargent and Lundy Engineers in Chicago and specializes in Fossil Power Technologies.

  Kiki Zissimopoulos is the Treasurer and Committee Organizer of the Ellas Dancers of Chicago. In 2003, upon returning to Chicago after college, Kiki joined "Makedonia" Dance Troupe and began performing with the group at various events in the United States, Canada, and Greece. She has developed a love and appreciation of Hellenic dance and folklore and continues to attend instructional workshops in Canada and the United States. In 2009 Kiki became a founding member of the Ellas Dancers of Chicago and is excited to work with such a talented and dedicated group of dancers. In addition to dancing, Kiki enjoys baking and cake decorating.
  Kiki has her M.S. in Biomedical Engineering and is currently a Ph.D. candidate at Northwestern University. Her research area is able-bodied and pathological ambulation, specifically focusing on the gait of people who use a prosthesis or orthosis.