National Dance Day Is Saturday, So Dust Off Your Dancing Shoes

Saturday is National Dance Day, another day that you can celebrate through clever Facebook status updates, Instagram hashtags, and throwback photos to your drill team days and those terrible costumes your dance teachers used to make you wear. Or, you could actually get off your butt and dance. Novel idea, I know. But seriously, if it's National Dance Day, I'm pretty sure you should actually be moving.

That's the premise behind this official holiday first recognized in 2010 when Eleanor Holmes Norton, Washington, D.C.'s, congressional delegate, introduced a National Dance Day resolution to promote dance education and physical fitness. Launched by So You Think You Can Dance co-creator Nigel Lythgoe and supported by the Dizzy Feet Foundation, NDD encourages Americans to embrace dance as a fun and positive way to maintain good health. We all need a little bit of movement in our life, and studies have shown (and I'm not going to bore you with nerdy, scientific details here) that the more you move, the more your brain becomes active, sending sweet, positive endorphins through your body, making you feel better and happier. Happy feet are a scientific fact, and in the hot summer days, who doesn't want to do something that makes her feel good?

The people at the Dizzy Feet Foundation just want you to have a good time, so they have created routines for you to learn and perform at various events in your hometowns, and the Dallas-Fort Worth area is playing host to a few of them (check out the list below for details). The biggest one is happening in downtown Dallas at Klyde Warren Park. All afternoon long Saturday, you can enjoy free dance classes in a variety of styles at the Muse Family Performance Pavilion. Everything from African to Zumba to bachata to salsa will be available for you to learn, plus you'll have the chance to perform the dances prepared by the Dizzy Feet Foundation.

Lythgoe and SYTYCD judge Adam Shankman have choreographed a piece they call the "Everyone Dance" routine, and they really mean it. Whether you're new to dance, have been dancing since you were 2 years old, have just retired from a life on the stage, or just simply love to move, their piece is for you. It's fun and simple and, for the first time ever, the Dizzy Feet Foundation has adapted a "seated" version for dancers of all ability. If you feel like you've got that one down, Christopher Scott is ready to challenge you with a more advanced piece that is sure to make you sweat.

Once you've selected the routine of your choice and practiced your heart out, you can videotape yourself and your friends and family performing and send it to Dizzy Feet. Who knows, maybe they'll choose your video to be shown during an episode of SYTYCD. Because, who doesn't want to be on TV and on a show that has made dancing cool again.

So do as James Brown dictates and on Saturday, "Get up offa that thing, and dance till you feel better." You don't want to disappoint the Godfather of Soul or the dance gods.

Klyde Warren Park From 1:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., enjoy free dance classes for the whole family in a variety of styles, including:

  • 1:30 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.: African Dance with Fihankra Dance & Fitness Studio
  • 2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.: Zumbatomic: Zumba for Kids with Anita N. Martinez Ballet Folklorico
  • 3:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.: Bachata with Studio 22
  • 3:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.: Salsa with Studio 22

All classes will take place on the Muse Family Performance Pavilion. Klyde Warren Park, 2012 Woodall Rodgers Freeway.

MoveStudio If you're looking for something more based on free-flowing movement and expression, then MoveStudio might just be the place for you to spend National Dance Day. They specialize in Nia movement, which is an "East meets West" approach to fitness that utilizes dance to tone the body, mind and spirit. It combines the creative expression of dance with martial arts and yoga. Nia is super "user-friendly," flexible, playful, and fun for non-dancers and dancers alike.

Saturday, 10:20 a.m., the drop-in rate is $15 online or cash at the door. MoveStudio is at 17062 Preston Road.

Forcher's Dance Center National Dance Day Event & Open House Forcher's Dance Center's award-winning competition dancers will be present to teach both beginner and advanced routines. They are also planning to video and submit the performances that they teach to the Dizzy Feet Foundation, so here is a great chance to be a part of National Dance Day in your own community. They only thing they ask of you is to wear clothes and shoes you can move in, sneakers are best, and to just come in ready to have fun. No previous experience required.

Saturday, 2., Forcher's Dance Center, 2329 W. Rochelle Road

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