Virginia Topitzes has spent a lifetime dedicated to dance. She began her dance career studying ballet, tap, acrobatics and character dance in her childhood. She continued these studies into adulthood adding ethnic dance and flamenco to form her widely developed skills and repertoire. She has taught dance and been a performer for over 50 years.
Virginia founded the IBERIAN SPANISH DANCERS, INC. in 1958 and worked in the capacity of director, choreographer, performer and business manager throughout the years. She performed with the Kavkaz Russian Dancers for 25 years and in 1968, she founded the Dorian Greek Dancers, a company she still teaches and directs. She has taught international folk dancing on a social recreational level to a wide variety of participants from children to adults.
Virginia has studied dance under a wide array of world reknown teachers, performers and choreographers, such as José Greco, Nana Lorca, Roger Machcado (Spanish); Madelyn Green (Portuguese); Basil Thompson (ballet and character; Atanas Kolorovsky (Macedonian); Vyts Beliagus (international folk dance); Irene Jimenez Mc Lean and Estella (Mimi) Ortiz (Puerto Rican); Tom Bozigian (Armenian); Bora Ozkoack (Turkish); Dora Stratou Dance Company teachers (Greek); Nelda Duree (Mexican); Yves Moreau and Dick Crum (Balkan), etc.
Virginia is a Certified Festival Executive, designation conferred by Purdue University and the International Festivals Association. From 1975 to 1991, she was the coordinator of Holiday Folk Fair International, the nation's oldest and largest folk festival. She has served as Secretary of the USA Steering Committee for CIOFF (Council International of Folklore Festivals), a worldwide organization dedicated to the preservation and presentation of folkarts through research and festivals internationally. She is past president of the National Folk Organization of the USA. She is a member of CID (International Council of Dance) and IOV (International Organization of Volkfests).
Virginia has authored and presented two papers internationally. The first titled "Change and Innovation of Traditional Music and Dance in Folklore Festivals" and "Limitation of Choreographer's Role on Traditional Music and Dance in Folklore Festivals" presented in Seoul, Korea 1988. The second titled "The Role of Women in the transmission of Cultural Heritage" presented in San Juan, Puerto Rico 1996.
Virginia loves to dance. She has traveled widely in pursuing her education and career and in giving her services to the field of dance. She has received numerous awards in recognition for her efforts and dedication.