Guest blogger Danielle Marie Georgiou is a dance lecturer at the University of Texas Arlington. She also serves as assistant director of UT Arlington’s Dance Ensemble.
So You Think You Can Dance and the Dizzy Feet Foundation are declaring July 31, National Dance Day, and are encouraging everyone, dancers and non-dancers, to get off the couch, get out, and dance!
A grassroots initiative created to encourage the nation to move and bring individuals, families, organizations, and communities from across the nation together through their creative expression of dance, National Dance Day is one of the most positive products to come from the television show.
SYTYCD has brought forms of dance that the general public might never have been aware of otherwise (Bollywood, Tahitian, Krumping, and Stepping) to the forefront and it has opened the doors for many people to pursue learning dance. Promoting healthy lifestyles, exploration of creativity, and cultural and community awareness – that is exactly what any dance (or arts organization) should be doing. Its immense popularity and reach gives SYTYCD the ability and opportunity to start a movement, and with National Dance Day, the show is taking the first steps.
Executive producer and judge Nigel Lythgoe has said that the goal is to “prove that the power of dance can move an entire country,” and further, to continue to generate national awareness for dance, a medium of expression and storytelling that has proven its value in bringing individuals from all walks of life together. Most important, dance and the dance world promote health and wellness, and events like National Dance Day will help show that dancers aren’t people who don’t eat. Dancers actually take extremely good care of their bodies. Our bodies are our instruments; they are our desk, computer, cubicle. Without them, we can’t work. Physical fitness is important, not just for us to continue our careers, but for our bodies in the long run.
Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), a long-time proponent of healthy lifestyles, will introduce a National Dance Day resolution at a press conference on Saturday in Washington, D.C., to promote dance education and physical fitness across the U.S.
“More than 30 percent of Americans are obese, and childhood obesity has tripled in the past 30 years,” Norton has said. “Television shows such as So You Think You Can Dance are not only entertaining but are also encouraging people to live a physically active lifestyle.” She will be hosting her own National Dance Day flash mob on the National Mall in support of the event and to continue to promote fitness and fight obesity.
If you are interested in taking part in this grooving movement, Six Flags Over Texas, Fox 4, and KIIS FM are hosting an event from 4-5pm at Six Flags in Arlington. Leading the efforts at the Front Gate Stage will be special guests from the Dance Council of North Texas who will teach park-goers the routine created by SYTYCD choreographers Tabitha and Napoleon D’umo. Activities beginning at the Southern Palace at 1:00pm; the Front Gate Stage event will begin at 3:30pm with a choreography lesson.
To learn the dance that SYTYCD choreographers Tabitha and Napoleon created, click here.