I recently had to compile a list of weird holidays for work, and I found all sorts of unexpected days. I figured if they have a Plan Your Epitaph Day, there’s bound to be some amazing dance holidays.
As usual, I was right.
Get your tutu on! Every day should be a ballet day, but February 7th is the time of year when you put a bit more oopmh into your plies!
March 20-April 13 – National Cherry Blossom Festival
You might think that a Cherry Blossom Festival would be a traditional Japanese celebration–and you’d be half right. This festival takes place every year in Washington, DC to commemorate the gift of cherry trees from Mayor Yukio Ozaki from Tokyo back in 1912. The relationship between the United States and Japan was just beginning to blossom at that time, and each year Americans and visitors alike appreciate traditional dancing, singing, and even kimono fashion shows. This is a clip of one of the dancers rocking it out old school style.
April 29– International Dance Day
International Dance Day—not to be confused with National Dance Day–celebrates the unifying abilities of dance and its ability to connect people across cultures, borders, and even language barriers. You don’t have to be a professional dancer to appreciate the universality of dance!
Back in the day, the May Day was a pagan celebration of the beginning of summer. While the exact traditions for May Day vary based on time and country, the May Pole is one of the most recognizable remnants of the festival. The dances involved with the may pole are as diverse as the celebrations, but most versions involve patterns that weave the streamers into a braid.
May 14th – National Dance Like a Chicken Day
No explanation needed for this one, but in case you need a visual…
May 25 – National Tap Dance Day
Who says the government doesn’t appreciate dance? Congress voted to make National Tap Dance Day on legendary tap dancer Bill “Bojangles” Robinson’s birthday. While it’s nice to have a day dedicated to tap, I think we need to take it a bit farther and have competitive large group tap numbers, like England apparently does…
July 26th – National Dance Day
So You Think You Can Dance and the Dizzy Feet Foundation team up to present National Dance Day–a special day that inspires movement and creativity among amateurs and professionals alike! National Dance Day is a relatively new holiday, starting in 2010 when Nigel Lythgoe, co-founder of the Dizzy Feet Foundation, started the day to promote dance as a healthy way to combat obesity, relieve stress, and explore creativity!
August 24 is World Hip Hop Day–a time where artists and amateurs come together to explore the power of hip hop. Dancers show off their moves at block parties, on stage, and in the streets.
September 19th-28 – National Ballroom Dance Week
National Ballroom Dancing week is a time to share the knowledge and fun of ballroom dancing with the public.
Oct 31-Nov 2 – Day of the Dead
The Day of the Dead is a traditional day to honor and remember the dead, and is observed in Mexico, South America, and parts of Europe. Scholars believe that it can trace its roots back to Aztec traditions, though it has evolved over time. The living bring gifts of food and goods to the graves of their loved ones. Some traditional dances include shell costumes that make noise enough to wake the dead!
November 29th – Square Dance Day
November 29th is the one day of the year that’s okay to be a square.
Dec. 11 – National Day of Tango (Argentina) –
The U.S. hasn’t caught on yet, but Argentina proudly dedicates December 11 to tango. Tango originated in South America in 1890s, and went from village dance to one of the most well-known types of dance seen on stages and in spy movies alike.