By Annette Chrysostomou
THIS week, Ayia Napa is breaking not only one Guinness world record, but two. One is for the biggest group of Greek dancers which was performed on Sunday, and a very different one is for making a very big comb.
On Sunday afternoon, 754 dancers managed to break the world record by dancing the ‘Zeimbekiko’ for five consecutive minutes.
As part of the Ayia Napa festival, the dancers dressed uniformly in jeans, white shirts and blue scarves and danced to the ‘Zeimbekiko’ by Manos Loizou from the musical ‘Evdokia’ by Alexis Damianos.
They gathered along the coastal walkway in the afternoon, with dance instructors on a special platform in front of them. Crowds of people had flocked to the harbour area by early afternoon. Dancers of all ages were registered, then collected their shirts and scarves before gathering at the site of the event.
After the dancing was over, mayor Yiannis Karoussos said that “our count made sure that we will break this Guinness record. We managed in an intelligent and creative way to promote Ayia Napa and advertise and showcase Cyprus abroad since the video with the zeibekiko will be screened in countries all over the world.”
The video and photographs of the dance along with the testimony of two lawyers from the Guinness World Records organisation who were present both in the counting of participants and at the dance will be sent off to the organisation. The municipality expects that within a month, they will get a reply with the Guinness World Records patent certificate showing that they have broken the record.
The mayor added that “once again Ayia Napa creates culture because we have to understand that you have to have culture in order to have tourism. Tourists who came here today have lived this impressive experience, they will return home having in their luggage a bit of Ayia Napa and we are confident that they will visit us again.”
Karoussos added that “on every final Sunday of the international festival, we have established to shatter a Guinness record. Next year, we will make another attempt and we ask everyone to tells us their ideas.”
The event was held under the auspices of the secretary of the cabinet Theodosis Tsiolas, while the vice president of the Cyprus Tourism Organisation, as well as the mayors of the Famagusta district were guests at the record-breaking event.
Apart from many officials, Rihana Yanet Fuentes, one of Shakira’s dancers was also present, as was Chris Shiakallis, choreographer and dance teacher.
Shiakallis, who simplified the dance steps, said “the zeibekiko is a free solo dance. However for the needs of the Guinness record we simplified the steps so that everyone could dance for five minutes with the same synchronised steps.”
Fuentes, who danced a few steps of zeibekiko on a platform with Shiakallis, said that it is not the first time she visits the island, but she has visited four to five times.
The Shakira dancer wants to learn more Greek dancing because “the dances have a very nice pace. I am a dancer and I love anything to do with dance.” She even said she would love to visit Cyprus another time and participate in yet another attempt to break the Guinness record “if of course the mayor wants my presence.”
Yet another Guinness book record was broken by a Cypriot from Ayia Napa, this one for making the longest comb for curly hair.
“The comb is made of aluminium and is specifically for curly hair”, Andreas Papantoniou, the new record holder, explained.
The head of the cultural department of the Ayia Napa municipality, Maria Ttofini, said “the metal comb was placed in the pedestrian zone near the port and measured in the presence of Guinness record lawyers. It was originally declared it would measure five meters and 95 centimetres, but the final length was 6 metres and 2 centimetres.”
Panayiotou received the certificate by the organisation on Sunday afternoon from the
lawyers in the presence of secretary of the cabinet Theodosis Tsiolas and mayor Karoussos.