Dancing was central to the festival’s success, organizers said. Armenian dance is as old, or older, than the culture itself, Khodanian said.
“Guys project masculinity and courage,” she said. “It’s how you reflect emotions. We’ve always been in a struggle, and that is portrayed in the dance.”
Almara Mirzakhanian and Polin Avakemian emigrated from Iran eight months ago and said the most radical experience has been simply walking the halls of their high schools. The 17-year-olds said the Armenian festival made them feel closer to home.