Celebrate International Dance Day

Celebrate International Dance Day

April 29 is a day dedicated to kicking up your heels, scooting your boot, or dancing however you like to. Dance Day was started in 1982 by the International Dance Council in hopes of raising the importance of dance around the world as well as encouraging the use of dance in more school programs.

I’m thinking it helped. In my school, we used dancing in both music class as well as physical education. We never did any fun dancing, of course; we just had embarrassing square dances with the opposite sex (back when we figured everyone had cooties) and, when we were older, the lamest line dancing you’ve ever been a part of. If I ever thought my gym teacher was scary before, boy was I surprised to see I hadn’t seen nothing until I saw her steppin’ out to Brooks & Dunn. And here I thought her only pleasure in life was torturing us and making us feel ashamed of ourselves—you learn something new every day!

But dancing, it turns out, is a whole lot more fun than my teachers wanted me to believe. My daughter and I do bhangra dancing to a DVD workout and we both really love it. We even have our own homemade scarves. We’ve also tried salsa, Caribbean, hip-hop, and other styles and they’ve all been so much fun! Of course, our favorite is freestyle to whatever is on the radio—our Friday “It’s the Weekend!” ritual is turning up my stereo in my bedroom, grabbing a couple of drums, and rocking out. Either way, dancing has become a staple in our lives and it has nothing to do with spurs or cowboy hats or barns.

That said, there’s nothing wrong with that kind of dancing. I have relatives who really enjoy those types of dances and I say as long as you like it and you’re not hurting anyone, do it! I hope everyone has a chance to partake in Dance Day this year, whether it’s just grooving while you do laundry (I’ve been known to do that with my iPod on full blast, so I have no idea when people come up behind me and snicker, point, or join in) or doing a jig before you leave for work. Something else I love to do is let my little girl stand on my bed or the couch while I hold her hands and dance with her; if your kids are small enough to do that and you don’t mind, it might just make their day!