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International Dance Day: the day we celebrate what dancers do
April 29 is International Dance Day. Find out about its origin, why we celebrate dance as an art form and how we all got involved in 2021.
International Dance Day, the global celebration of dance as an art form, was created in 1982 by the International Theatre Institute (ITI), the main partner of the performing arts UNESCO. The day, which is held on April 29 each year, was made to act as a wake-up-call for governments, politicians and institutions that had not yet recognised how important dance is to the world.
Each year, the International Dance Committee and the International Theatre Institute select a dance personality to compose a message for International Dance Day. Plus, events and festivals happen around the world to celebrate dance and what it brings.
In honour of International Dance Day, here are six reasons to celebrate dance as a valuable, inspiring and uplifting art form, as well as a rundown of what we planned for 2021 to join in the day of celebration.
1. People connect and share their culture through dance
Dance helps people from different backgrounds to better understand and connect with each other by teaching the origins of their cultural dances and why they’re important to them.
With so many cultural dance forms having spread across the world, people from different backgrounds have gained a bigger mutual respect for each other – all through their shared love of dance.
2. Dance is good for physical and mental health
Dance is a great alternative to going to a gym and working out, if that isn’t for you. You don’t need to be a trained or high-level dancer to simply put on some music and lose yourself in dance, while also exercising your body, clearing your mind and using dance to alleviate any stress or anxiety you might be feeling.
3. The worldwide dance community is a force for good
Every dance style has a community of people who regularly meet up to practise, learn from each other, compete, jam and share in the style or styles. These communities exist on every scale, from small local scenes to worldwide communities of dancers that become second families for people, among whom individuals feel loved and valued. And if your dance community is a global one, you know that no matter where you are in the world, you have a community of like-minded people that are always there for you.
4. Dance is a universal language
Dance is one of the most powerful and universal forms of expression through which performers can transmit a strong message, tell stories and express feelings in a way that can be understood by anyone, including those who might not even speak the same language as the performers. A big part of the power of dance is how it allows someone to communicate through rhythmic movement, and be understood by someone from a completely separate background and country.
Neguin and Kyoka dance at Montmartre
5. There’s big love between the music and its makers
Music is the fuel that moves us to dance, and the inspiration for the creation of so many well-known, popular and cultural dance styles. DJs and artists have always inspired us to move and create new steps, flows and forms of expression within our dance. We also share new songs with each other to spread the inspiration that music sparks within us and the styles that we do.
Through dance we become increasingly connected to music, appreciating it on a deeper level, and growing the love that we have for it.
6. Dance scenes are creative and inspiring
The dance industry and global scenes are massively creative and innovative places that both entertain and inspire. Whether you want to watch the best breakers and street style dancers go head-to-head at battles like the Red Bull BC One or Dance Your Style World Finals, be emotionally moved by a famous ballet, theatre performance or broad way show or simply watch dancers perform and compete on one of the many dance inspired TV shows, the craft of dance is something we all love watching in some way shape or form, and it’s an art form that has something for everyone to enjoy.
How we celebrate International Dance Day
To celebrate International Dance Day, our 24-hour programme included classes from top street style dancers from Tokyo, Mumbai, Moscow, Cape Town, Paris, São Paulo, New York and Los Angeles. We also had social media challenges on Instagram and TikTok that were open to anyone to take part in, along with much more from top dancers on the day.
Check out all this and more – International Dance Day is a day to connect, enjoy and come together to celebrate all things dance.
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