Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

The Kennedy Center Announces 2021 National Dance Day Celebration


Participants will have opportunities to learn the official National Dance Day routine on Friday and Saturday.

The Kennedy Center Announces 2021 National Dance Day Celebration

Invite your friends and break out those dancing shoes September 16-18 for three days of in-person activities for National Dance Day! Presented through a partnership between the Kennedy Center, American Dance Movement (formally the Dizzy Feet Foundation), and Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), this annual event invites people of all ages and abilities, from the littlest dancers to professionals, to participate in a free celebration of the joy of dance and movement.

Celebrating 12 years of National Dance Day, this year's festivities are part of the Center's 50th Anniversary weekends and the Millennium Stage Summer Series which has been inviting the community to participate in a range of free and participatory activities to safely welcome the public back to the Center every weekend since May. Highlighting local D.C. organizations across the three days, this year is also curated in collaboration with Kennedy Center Culture Caucus member Carol Foster and Washington, D.C.'s Dance Place.

The festivities will kick off on Thursday, September 16 and Friday, September 17 featuring evening activities including the world premiere of 2020-2021 Local Dance Commissioning Project awardee Quynn Johnson's new tap dance film, Rhythm Is Our Business; DJ sets; additional dance film screenings; and performances on the outdoor mainstage of the REACH plaza.

On Saturday, September 18, in addition to morning yoga, interactive 45 minute dance classes- in collaboration with Dance Place-will take place in a variety of dance styles with something for everyone and every ability, ranging from hip hop, and Chinese contemporary to South African Gumboot and more.

Additionally the 18th includes an onsite installation called LENS. Created by Ben Levine in collaboration with over two dozen artists from the Washington, D.C. metropolitan region and across the U.S., LENS is a series of four movement-based inside installations each viewed through different technological means. Featuring both live and digital performance, audience perspectives are reshaped with the use of infrared goggles (choreography by Shannon Quinn and Boris Willis), binoculars (choreography by Sadie Leigh), virtual reality headsets (slowdanger + Anna Henson), and a 360-degree projection installation (Orange Grove Dance).

Participants will have opportunities to learn the official National Dance Day routine on Friday and Saturday. The routine brings together dancers and dance enthusiasts around the globe to celebrate National Dance Day as a form of exercise and of artistic expression. This year's instructional video will be released in the coming weeks and can be found via American Dance Movement's YouTube page.

A full and detailed National Dance Day schedule is located on the Center's website. All National Dance Day events are free and access to the event space is first come, first served and may be limited due to capacity. Reservations are encouraged and will be available beginning Friday, September 3 at 10 a.m. via the Center's website. A separate pass is required for the LENS installation located inside the REACH campus and can be found on the Center's website.

For the most updated Kennedy Center health and safety guidelines including recent vaccine requirements or negative PCR COVID-19 test for any inside activities and events, please see here.

National Dance Day was launched in 2010 by So You Think You Can Dance co-creator and American Dance Movement co-founder Nigel Lythgoe in partnership with Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, who introduced a resolution declaring the last Saturday in July to be the country's official National Dance Day. As of 2019, National Dance Day celebration is celebrated annually on the third Saturday in September. Founded by Lythgoe and Adam Shankman (producer of Hairspray, Step Up, What Men Want and more), American Dance Movement has created an instructional dance video of the National Dance Day routine since 2010 that invites participants to learn original choreography and put their own spin on it. The grassroots campaign highlights the importance of physical activity through dance, which, in addition to improving cardiovascular health, also improves self-confidence, self-expression and social skills.

In addition to the Kennedy Center, Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa, California, will be an official 2021 host venue for National Dance Day. For more information about National Dance Day, please visit the American Dance Movement website.

For more information about the Kennedy Center, visit

Related Articles View More Washington, DC Stories

Featured on Stage Door

Shoutouts, Classes & More

More Hot Stories For You