The Kennedy Center Presents The 10th Anniversary Of National Day
Kick up your heels and put on your dancing shoes on September 21 for National Dance Day! Presented in partnership between the Kennedy Center, American Dance Movement (formally the Dizzy Feet Foundation), and Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), this annual event invites everyone of all ages and abilities, from the littlest dancers to professionals, to participate in a free day-long celebration of the joy of dance and movement.
Celebrating 10 years, now moved for the first time from July to the third Saturday in September, the free all-day event takes place as part of opening festivities at the REACH, the Kennedy Center's newly expanded campus. Hosted by Emmy-winning choreographer, actress, and producer Debbie Allen, the day features interactive dance routines and lessons, outdoor performances, panel discussions, film screenings, live music, and more. Highlights include:
- Audiences can learn the official, nation-wide 2019 National Dance Day routine, created by American Dance Movement, on the REACH's mainstage. Choreographed by hip hop choreographer, DJ, and producer Matt Steffanina, the 2019 routine is set to Dua Lipa's "Electricity." Leading the routine will be a special guest artist, to be announced at a later date.
- The Kennedy Center's own "Line Dance" routine created specifically to tell the history and story of the Kennedy Center and its place in the D.C. community
- Intimate panel discussion with principal dancer Tiler Peck of New York City Ballet, who joins the day's festivities and performs a contemporary work on the mainstage, choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon as seen in Charlotte OC's hit 2017 music video, "Medicine Man"
- From 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., patrons can "try-on" different styles of movement in 16 different dance classes taught by local professional artists and dance organizations ranging from contemporary dance to Chinese Ribbon dance, tap, salsa, Classical Indian dance, Floor Barre, dancehall fusion, Viennese Waltz, and more as well as dance for those with Parkinson's Disease
- All-Day film screenings including the documentaries No Maps on My Taps; NY Export: Opus Jazz, the 2010 reimaging of Jerome Robbins's ballet in sneakers with dancers from New York City Ballet; and the 2018 Hulu documentary Ballet Now, featuring Tiler Peck
- DC Dance Round Table Discussion hosted by Dance Metro DC along with an interactive dance and film workshop to learn techniques for capturing dance on a smart phone or tablet
- Performance followed by learning movement from Jerron Herman, principal dancer and at Heidi Latsky Dance with cerebral palsy who is now choreographing his own interdisciplinary work
- Fela! The Concert, a concert version of the hit Tony Award-winning Broadway show based on the music, lyrics, and life of the late Nigerian singer, composer, and activist Fela Kuti
In addition, take a journey through the history of dance in D.C. at the 6:00 p.m. Millennium Stage show (also streamed live on the Center's website) in an interactive performance/lecture, led by writer and narrator Lisa Traiger. Local dance companies and artists will perform and demonstrate the city's stories in a variety of styles including tap, ballet, African Dance styles and more-all leading up to local choreographer Sarah Beth Oppenheim leading patrons in the Kennedy Center's own "line dance" routine featuring movement inspired by local landmarks.
Further information about the companies and artists participating can be found here.
A living theater where diverse art forms collide to break down boundaries between audiences and art, the REACH was designed by architect Steven Holl to support the Kennedy Center's evolving needs as the nation's cultural center. Built for active participation and access, the REACH brings visitors directly into the creative process. It is an immersive learning center, a public incubator, and a set of dynamic, collaborative spaces where art happens so close audiences can reach out and touch it. Envisioned as a complement to, and extension of, the Kennedy Center's mission, the REACH is an open stage for differing ideas and divergent cultures, delivering on a vision for what a 21st century arts center should be-inclusive, accessible, and interactive. Featuring three soaring, contiguous pavilions along with 130,000 square feet of greenspace and public gardens-the REACH is a place where visitors, audiences, and artists can come together for collaboration, experimentation, and exploration in the spirit of President Kennedy's vision for a new frontier for the arts. The REACH will open September 7 with a free 16-day festival through September 22.
A full and detailed National Dance Day schedule is located here on the Center's website. All National Dance Day events are free and reservations for timed passes will be required for entry. Reservations are available here.
2019 National Dance Day Routine
Choreographed by hip hop choreographer, DJ, and producer Matt Steffanina, the 2019 National Dance Day routine is set to Dua Lipa's "Electricity." It is available now on American Dance Movement's YouTube Channel. The public is encouraged to submit videos of themselves performing this year's routine and participate in the dance challenge, #DanceMadeMeDoIt. Encouraging all to celebrate dance in one's own way, this year's challenge is to create your own version of the National Dance Day routine.
Launched in 2010 by So You Think You Can Dance co-creator and American Dance Movement (formally Dizzy Feet Foundation) co-president Nigel Lythgoe and Hairspray producer, Adam Shankman, National Dance Day is an annual celebration. This 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. It was officially recognized in 2010 when Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton introduced a resolution declaring the last Saturday in July to be the country's official National Dance Day. Now shifting to September 21, National Dance Day celebrates its 10th Anniversary this season.
In addition to the Kennedy Center, The Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Orange County, California, joins for an official 2019 host venue for September 21. For more information about National Dance Day, please visit the American Dance Movement website.