National Dance Foundation (NDF) began as National Dance Week in 1981. This “grass roots” movement aimed to bring greater recognition and dance to all. In 1991, the United Dance Merchants of America (UDMA) made a commitment to National Dance Week as a part of the UDMA campaign to actively encourage the growth of dance in America. This wonderful growth resulted in NDF being established as a non-profit foundation in 2011.
Over the years, the tradition of National Dance Week celebration in April has continued. This year, it will be celebrated from April 16-25. Here are some ways you can bring a little extra dance to your life that week!
#1. NDF Shout Out Challenge
Join NDF’s Shout Out Challenge! Teach your family members the NDF Shout Out and share why we all need kindness, especially at a time like this. Send NDF your video to be shared on social media (submission form can be found here), and include #NDFShoutOut and your studio. Challenge another dancer to join in and perform the NDF Shout Out as well.
#2. Dance Mob Together
Show all how dance can be a part of every person. Make a connection in your community, encouraging all to “get up and dance!” You can learn NDF’s Dance Mob choreography here, and then perform and video your mob in your studio or community. Submit your video to NDF to be shared on social media. Create awareness by making sure your video gives a “shout out” to NDF by including a sign everyone can see. Contact your local paper, radio and news stations to know where you will be, and encourage them to cover it.
#3. Essay and Poster Contest
The love of dance can be expressed in many ways, including words and pictures. NDF wants to give all that opportunity for expression with its Essay/Poster Contest. The essay themes are: “What do you dance for? Kindness, inclusion, community or all?” and “What does dance mean to you?” Essays should be 250-500 words, and the contest is open to fifth to eighth graders and high schoolers. The prize is a $25 gift certificate.
Poster themes are “What does dance look like” or “Dancers taking a stand against bullying!” The contest is open to elementary, junior high, high school and college students. The winner receives his/her artwork on a t-shirt and canvas.
#4. Kindness Inclusion Pledge
Create your own poster, and include the pledge, “I Dance for Kindness and Inclusion.” Gather signatures, and display the poster in your dance studio, school and/or organization, showing your support of inclusion and kindness. Take a picture of the poster and where it is displayed or with those who participated, and submit the photo to NDF to share on social media and help create awareness.
Every year during National Dance Week, NDF shares all the pictures and videos it has received, sharing the ways National Dance Week has been celebrated. This past year has had many difficulties, but dance always endures, encourages and strengthens us all. Make a connection in your community encouraging all to “get up and dance!” Bring the fun and an anybody-can-do-it attitude sharing dance with the general public.
For more information on National Dance Foundation and the ways you can celebrate this year’s National Dance Week from April 16-25, visit nationaldancefoundation.org