John F Kennedy Center in Washington DC hosted National Dance Day (NDD) celebrations on 30 July, with other events taking place across the US. Its mission is not only to promote dance but to encourage people to take part in physical fitness activities.
The event was established by Dizzy Feet Foundation co-president Nigel Lythgoe, and has been officially recognised since 2010 when congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton passed a resolution through the US government.
Norton, who co-hosted the event, said it has had a big impact: ‘The annual celebration has brought people from all parts of the city to the Kennedy Center to appreciate dance not only as a great way to have fun and express yourself but to live a healthy lifestyle by staying active doing something you love.’
Performers included DC Bhangra Crew, Alex Wong, Joy of Motion Dance Center, Dance Place Step Team, O’Neill James School of Irish Dance, Dance Institute of Washington and Native Pride Dancers.
‘We are just so grateful for this incredible event celebrating the fun of movement,’ said Debra Eschmeyer, executive director of Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! campaign. ‘We’re big fans of dance and movement.’
There were also dance classes from Helen Hayes and Katherine Kinnunen, and a special class for people suffering from Parkinson’s disease led by Lucy Bowen McCauley.
‘One of the great things about dance is that it works for everybody,’ said Dance/USA executive director Amy Fitterer in a speech at the event. ‘It doesn’t matter how old or young you are, it doesn’t matter where you’re from – we all can move together.’