Everything You Need To Know About International Dance Day (And How To Participate!)

Friday, April 29th, 2022, is International Dance Day (also called World Dance Day). Ready to get your body moving this week with us to celebrate? Dancing is a universal language that virtually every society can participate in and understand worldwide. Humans love to dance; it’s innate within us. It brings us together, whether dancing together or watching a performance. So let’s honor International Dance Day together this week! 

We’d thought we kick start the celebration with a brief history and a video to help you get moving!

Brief History of International Dance Day 

Have you been curious about International Dance Day came to be? Let’s discuss the brief history, as well as ways you can participate no matter what day it is!

Who Established International Dance Day?

In 1982, The Dance Committee of the International Theatre Institute (ITI) declared April 29 as International Dance Day to highlight the talent and diversity of dancers all over the world. This specific date was chosen because it is the birthday of Jean-Georges Noverre (1727-1810), the creator of modern ballet. 

The point of this holiday is to promote dance across the world, increase awareness about the value of dance, and enable the entire dance community to promote their work and classes on a broader scale. The hope is that by increasing awareness, more importance will be placed on dance in all its forms so that it can earn more support. At the end of the day, however, International Dance Dance was created for us to enjoy dance and share the joy with others.

The ITI selects an exemplary choreographer or dancer to write a World Dance Day message each year. Their website also includes the location of the annual gala and promotes events worldwide. View this year’s message and browse all events here.

Timeline of Events on How World Dance Day Got Its Start

Evidence of dance in human history dates back nearly 9,000 years and has since grown into a worldwide phenomenon. World Dance Day encourages people to celebrate their favorite type of dance while also learning new styles. With so many varieties and styles that cater to all ages and rhythm capabilities, there’s no excuse for you not to get involved! Let’s go over a small timeline of dance history.

In 3300 BC, the first trace of dance is found painted on Egyptian tombs and Indian rock walls, proving that dance is an innate need for us all. 

Further forward, in the 1830s, Marie Taglioni wears pointe shoes for the first time in history during her ballet performance in “La Sylphide.” 

Most people will identify the 1950s-1970s as a time when dance was all the rage! Especially with the rise of pop music, dance fads made their appearance during these decades. Dances like the Twist, the Mashed Potato, the Hitch Hike, and more! 

The last dance event in history that we’ll mention is the debut of Dancing with the Stars. Though it’s currently had more than 25 seasons, 2005 was the year that Dancing with the Stars captured America’s love of dance when they paired professional dancers with fan-favorite celebrities. The show allowed viewers across the country to vote for their favorite dance pairs throughout the season. 

Traditions and Other Dance Holidays

Did you know that there are other dance holidays and traditions around the world? In England, they celebrate May Day on May 1st, where children dance around decorated poles to welcome Spring and all its blessings. In Jamaica, they celebrate Junkanoo with a street parade that features dance, costumes, and music. Junkanoo is typically celebrated on Boxing Day or New Year’s Day. 

India celebrates Holi, a colorful festival rich with music and dancing, though the date of this festival varies depending on the Hindu Lunar Calendar. Indians also celebrate World Bollywood Day on September 24, a day full of glitz, glamor, and Bollywood dancing!

Of course, the obvious tradition that is observed on International Dance Day is dancing and more dancing! This day is about letting loose, moving to the beat, and letting yourself feel joy through the art of dancing.

Dance parties and dance competitions are very important and popular traditions today, and they’ve become a staple in many of our lives. Even when certain dance styles go out of style, people still love to move and celebrate the talent of anyone who is willing to participate!

How To Celebrate International Dance Day

There are a variety of ways to celebrate World Dance Day. The first one  — dance! Turn on your favorite music and dance it up wherever you are. It’s a free and easy way to get involved. However, you can also:

Take A Class

Have you taken a Zumba class? Tango? Maybe you’re looking to learn a new style! Take a dance class! Even if you feel like you’re not the best dancer, beginner dance classes are very forgiving and are sure to help you boost your confidence and make you feel good. No matter your skill level, there’s never a bad time to broaden your horizons and try a new style you’ve never done before. 

Go See A Show

If you’re not a dancer, you can still celebrate International Dance Day by going to see a show. Dance performances often include amazing costumes, beautiful sets, and bright colors for everyone to enjoy. One of the highest-grossing Broadway shows is the Lion King, and over 100 million people have seen it since its inception in 1997. Search online and see what’s playing locally in your area, or check out performances from various dance styles around the world.

Encourage Dancing — At Any Age!

Another way you can support International Dance Day all year long is to encourage your family and friends to dance. Children can take dance lessons at a very young age, and yet there really is no age limit when it comes to taking lessons. If they love it and stick with it, they can reap all the benefits that come with continual practice, including physical fitness, higher self-confidence, and perseverance. Encourage your children and family or friends to take a chance and try a class for themselves.

Want To Celebrate World Dance Today Every Day? Join Community Fitness!

At Community Fitness, we love dance as a form of exercise for so many reasons. First, it’s a confidence booster! Several studies have shown that the creative movements of our bodies can improve our feelings of self-worth, give us a better attitude, and even improve our motivation. So turn on some of your favorite upbeat tunes and get moving if you’re feeling down!

Second, just five minutes of dancing can increase your brain activity and help you with creativity. Finally, there’s evidence that even just a quick five-minute dance session can improve your mood and increase your ability to problem-solve.

Lastly, it’s excellent exercise. Dancing can help you burn calories in a way that might be more fun than running or lifting weights. With the variety of online and in-person dance classes (especially with us at Community Fitness!), you’ll never get bored with your workout again. Once you get the basic moves down, there’s a whole world of options. 

Browse through our various dance fitness videos today and celebrate International Dance Day with us today!