National Dance Day was created by So You Think You Can Dance executive and Dizzy Feet Foundation co-president Nigel Lythgoe. It was officially recognized in 2010 when Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton introduced it to promote dance education and physical fitness. The holiday is held annually on the last Saturday of July and, even though it is a US National Day, is celebrated by millions all over the world.
In the past 5 years of its growth, National Dance Day has had organized celebrations all over the US, with events held in Los Angeles, Washington DC, and New York City. This year was the largest and most successful NDD yet. So You Think You Can Dance alumni, choreographers, and stars all got together to teach and dance pre-choreographed routines with the public. Prior to every NDD, beginner and advanced routines are released to the same song to give event-goers time to practice the NDD dance moves. This year’s dances were taught by current So You Think You Can Dance Team Street and Team Stage captains Twitch and Travis Wall.
As one of the world’s major dance capitals, New York City’s Saturday celebration naturally took place at Lincoln Center. Thousands of people showed up to the iconic theater to take part in this movement. Led by choreographer, director, and So You Think You Can Dance judge Adam Shankman, as well as SYTYCD all-star alum and Broadway regular Alex Wong, Lincoln Center’s National Dance Day was more exciting than ever, allowing every passerby to take a moment to bust a move.
But you did not have to be in just those three cities to celebrate NDD. Anyone can celebrate it just by putting on music and dancing. Videos from all over the country were even submitted to So You Think You Can Dance, proving that the annual celebration of dance and movement transcends location.
By Janna Berenson