It's the most wonderful tiiiiiiime of the year...or it's about to be: National Dance Week officially kicks off tomorrow, and runs through May 4.
How can you get involved in the fun? Let us count the ways! First of all, studios and organizations have planned celebrations ranging from traditional performances to full-day festivals. Visit the National Dance Week website to find out what dance-tastic events are happening in your area.
And no matter where you live, be sure to participate in NDW's third annual dance mob contest. The rules are simple: Start by learning this year's official routine, created by choreographer extraordinaire Gregg Russell. Then teach it to a group from your studio or school, or even just a bunch of dance-inclined friends. Make a video of your posse performing the routine, upload it to YouTube, and submit the link to the official NDW site. Winners will be chosen in the following categories: most votes, most interesting location (get out of that dance studio!), most creative, most participants, and best spirit.
The deadline for submissions is June 4, so get on it, everyone! Check out the official choreography below:
Are you tired of hearing about politics these days? Yeah, we know. But here's something that, whatever your political leanings, is guaranteed to put a big smile on your face: Choreographer Celia Rowlson-Hall and partner Mia Lidofsky orchestrated a giant #PantsuitPower flash mob in support of Hillary Clinton, with hundreds of dancers getting down in their finest, yes, pantsuits. And it was just the happiest happy that ever happied.
How did Rowlson-Hall and Lidofsky make the whole shebang, which took place in NYC on Sunday, happen? They issued an open invitation to "all dancers, movers and shakers of all ethnicities, ages, and genders." Rowlson-Hall spent hours upon hours over the course of nine days teaching the nearly 200 volunteers—including such luminaries as Martha Graham principal Peiju Chien-Pott—the choreography, which they set to Justin Timberlake's "Can't Stop the Feeling." They raided pretty much every one of NYC's thrift shops for pantsuits in all shapes, sizes and colors. And they organized a 10-camera shoot in Union Square to document all the action.
The result is awesome, you guys. The discourse surrounding this election has been incredibly ugly, but this is a beam of bright, beautiful sunshine.
The official video of the event just went up, so enjoy—and if you're over 18, please get out there and vote on November 8.
Remember back in February, when we told you to start gearing up for National Dance Week 2015? Well it's finally here, folks! In fact, it started yesterday and runs until May 3. But don't worry—even if you forgot to get a head start, there are still plenty of ways to participate. Here's how:
1. Get local. Dancers across the country are holding events all week to celebrate. Click here to find out what's going on in your area.
2. Submit a video. The NDW Foundation is still accepting entries for this year's dance mob contest. To make a submission, grab a group of friends, learn the 2015 choreo by Michael Rosales (below), film it and upload it to NDWF's website. Contest winners will be announced two weeks later, but with the chance to spread the love of dance around your community, it's really a win-win situation, amirite?
3. Just dance (it'll be OK). Believe it or not, the best way to celebrate National Dance Week is to...well...dance! Whether you're training in ballet class, performing on stage, flash-mobbing on the streets or dance-partying in your living room, take a moment this week to appreciate what we (completely unbiasedly) think is the coolest art form out there. And while you're at it, snap some pics and post them to Twitter or Instagram with #NationalDanceWeek. Happy dancing!
Kim Lavongha, age 7, won one of the first NDW poster contests ...d'aawwwww!
April may be a couple months away, but it's not too early to start prepping for National Dance Week, which runs April 24–May 3. To give you some ideas, the NDW Foundation has already begun announcing the ways you can get involved in the celebration of dance and fitness:
1. Participate in the NDW essay and poster contests. Essays should be 250–500 words and answer one of two prompts: 1) Why is dance so important in your life and how has it helped you in other aspects of your life?; or 2) Why is dance important enough to both individuals and communities that we should we take a week to celebrate it? (If you're feeling a little less left-brain–inclined, feel free to design a poster that addresses the topic: What does dance look like?)
2. Learn the choreography for this year's flash mob contest, and start teaching it to your friends, siblings, classmates, grandparents, strangers off the street. (OK, maybe not strangers...but you get the picture!) The moves were created by Michael Rosales, and though the hip-hop choreo is basic enough for beginners to pick up, it's also a great base for more-advanced embellishments. Once you get your crew together, upload your video to YouTube and send it to NDWF. People will vote on their favorites during NDW, and winners will be announced two weeks later.
3. Produce a dance event, hold a fundraiser for your studio...the possibilities are just about endless! Visit National Dance Week's website to find out more.
Last year, flash mob marriage proposals were all the rage. Honestly, if you were proposed to last year and didn’t get a flash mob, you should feel a little left out—or like you chose the wrong guy. I kid, I kid. But there were some pretty great ones. We even included the get-all-your-friends-to-dance-in-unison-before-popping-the-question trend in our list of the "Top 12 Dance Moments of 2012."
So when I saw another flash mob proposal video going viral this week, I was hesitant to click play. Boy, am I glad I did. This one may just be the cutest yet. Smack in the middle of the Home Depot lumber aisle, there was great choreography, there were grandparents showing their moves, there were cute kids doing cartwheels and, most importantly, there was an adorable couple who looked oh-so-happy together. And, yes, I may have teared up a little. Check it out:
Future husband, I'd like a flash mob proposal, please.
I love the Throwback Thursday (hashtag it: #tbt) trend on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram—especially when my favorite dancers tag themselves in hilarious little kid recital photos.
Another thing I love?
Getting lost in the internet, re-watching all of my favorite dance performances from "So You Think You Can Dance," the Dance Spirit Cover Model Search (click here to enter!) and, naturally, flash mob proposals.
So, for your viewing pleasure, here's a little #tbt of my own, dance video-style! (Not my own dance videos—sadly those exist only on old-school VHS tapes—but rather a few of my all-time favorite clips from the past few years.)
Misha Gabriel & Teddy Forance's piece, Bulletproof, at the 2010 Capezio A.C.E. Awards:
Two of my forever-favorite choreographers + a neon-clad Dusty Button + that magic moment at the 3:23 mark = sheer genius. I screamed so loudly in the audience throughout this entire piece and I re-watch the video all the time.
The "Sound of Music" flash mob at Antwerp Central Station:
This was my introduction to flash mobs and I loved it so much I actually cried. Real, happy tears, falling down my face. This is the most joyful thing I can imagine.
Sarah Pippin's "Black Hawk Waltz" at New York City Dance Alliance Nationals:
Tiny Sarah, you are everything. This routine was even better in person. That balance at 1:11 had me holding my breath (not necessary: she nailed it), and when the music changed at 1:48 I vaguely recall yelling out an over-eager, "YEAHHHH!!!" That tiny ferocity matched perfectly with Travis Wall's choreography. A brilliant performance.
"Sexy Back" by the "So You Think You Can Dance" Season 2 Top 4:
I tried to learn it in my friend's living room. Wade Robson, I know you've done a lot of really amazing stuff throughout your career, but I think this is your best, funnest work ever.
The annual celebration of all things dance kicks off this Friday, April 26, and runs through Sunday, May 5.
You've been practicing your NDW flash mob choreography, right? If you're feeling a little rusty, take another look at the (simple but fun) combo, choreographed by Sarah Jo Fazio—then find out how you can join the nationwide flash mob on April 27.
Looking for other ways to get involved? From holding a dance-a-thon to reading dance-themed books at a local school, there are dozens of ways to get your dance on over the course of NDW. Click here to read the full list of options, and click here for a state-by-state guide to events that have already been organized.
National Dance Week may be more than a month away, but now’s the time to start planning. Why? Because NDW’s Second Annual Flash Mob Event on April 27 is approaching fast—and you'll want to be a part of it. If you think one flash mob is exciting, try dozens of them popping up in public places across the country.
All you have to do to get involved is rally a group from your studio or school. (Being a trained dancer is not a requirement.) Once your crew is coordinated, order your official (and customizable!) NDW Flash Mob T-shirts, pick your time and location and start practicing.
You can choreograph your own moves or learn NDW’s special routine, demonstrated by choreographer Sarah Jo Fazio here:
Don’t forget to designate a friend to videotape. We can’t wait to see what you come up with!