Diamantis Palaiologos, who went by the nickname of Mantos, was born in 1948 and grew up in Palio Klima, Skopelos. During his studies in electronics in Athens, he also enrolled in the Dora Stratou Dance School. In 1973 he moved to Vancouver, Canada, where he studied mathematics in the Simon Fraser University.
During his studies there, with his wife Christina Palaiologou and other Greeks, they formed the ROMIOS Dance Group, which gave performances all over Canada, with very good reviews. His interest in dance turned professional, since they frequently danced in Greek restaurants, supplementing their student income.
After finishing his studies, he returned to Greece, to his island, where he taught in the High School and Lyceum of Glossa, as a math teacher. He served as school principle for several years, putting in a lot of hard work and care, to turn it into a model school The school and his students were his life. His professional enthusiasm did not end with the ring of the bell, since he was also a great mentor for his students, always there to hear their concerns and advise them about their future, even after their graduation.
He was one of the founding members of the Cultural Association, and was actively engaged in the organisation of the island's cultural events. He moreover was an enthusiastic and tireless teacher of folk dancing for 28 consecutive years, always offering the dance lessons free of charge. He created the dancing group of Glossa, which received nationwide distinctions. His entire life was filled with selflessness and concern for social issues, and with his characteristic passion, he always supported what he thought was best for his island and his village. During his term in the BoD of the cultural association and as a dance teacher he came against deeply rooted mindsets; nevertheless he was successful in culturally improving his village.
Diamantis and Christina never stopped loving and researching the richness of Greek folk dancing, always enriching their knowledge with dance seminars, conferences of International Dance Teaching Organisations, etc. Many generations of Glossa residents came to love folk dancing through the eyes of Mantos and Christina, first learning to love rhythm and then dance. The family tradition continues today through their children Christos, Thodoris and Nafsika, who are carrying on the torch, with their love for folk dancing and their public contribution. In 2004, Nafsika Palaiologou, faithful to the family tradition took on the teaching of folk dancing to Primary School children, thus adding a new core to the dance group, and she continues to date with groups of adults and children. In March of 2010, Glossa, education, culture and dance, lost a worthy child, with a significant contribution in all these areas.
An excerpt from the funeral speech of his old students, as his colleague and friend, Giannis Alevizos, recorded it at http://mpalkoniaigaiounews.info
"Dear sir, we, your students, through these words, are expressing our sorrow and our pain for your great loss. Thinking back of our childhood, what springs first to memory is your image. You taught us our first dance steps. But who will we dance the Tamzara with now, who will we admire in Zorba and Evdokia? We are certain that today the angels are waiting to dance with you. What to remember first from your classroom? Your jokes in class? Your efforts to transmit your valuable knowledge? Your concern for the development of the village and our school? Your persistence on broadening our horizons? Mostly, what we will keep in our memory and our heart, that no matter how long it had been since we sat in the classroom, and no matter how far from home we found ourselves, you were always sincerely interested in our progress, and you were always there for us in our personal problems, like a second father. With your advice, your experience, and your encouragement, you were a teacher in life for all of us. FAREWELL TEACHER!!!"
A clip with Diamantis Palaiologos, from a Greek TV special, possibly from 1983, about the Carnival in Skopelos. To watch the entire video click here