So here we are in Week 2 of our Summer of Arts Immersion and already I am having trouble staying committed. It’s a good thing I have this blog to keep me honest! If you need help staying committed, try finding a friend to do this with you (like your Arts Integration Buddy) or maybe someone in your life who is trying to stay committed to something else entirely so you can cheer each other on and remind yourselves why you wanted to do this in the first place. Since I have the deadline for my weekly article to spur me on, I had to decide what to do next.
When I was looking over the Arts Immersion To-Do List, I found myself intimidated by the “Make art” part of the list. It sounds so lofty, formal and serious (and I’m the one who wrote it!). In order to take the stress off, I decided to re-state #7 “Make art: dance” to “Do art: dance” and do something intentionally light and fun. I commenced preparations for celebrating National Dance Day 2013.
You may not know it, but on July 31, 2010, there was a congressional resolution to make the last Saturday in July “National Dance Day” to help promote dance as a fun way to stay healthy. This year it falls on July 27th, the day after our Connectivity Conference! For the 2013 celebration, The Dizzy Feet Foundation has two different dances posted on YouTube for the public to learn so anyone can participate. One dance is called Everybody Dance intended for every person no matter their dance background.
If hop-hop is your thing, they have a Hip-Hop Master Class so you can watch and learn that choreography. Or if you can make it to the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. you are in for an entire day’s worth of performances and activities from 1pm to 11:30pm. If you are in Grand Park in Los Angeles, CA you can participate in the festivities between 10am and 2pm. However, if you can’t make it to either of those places you can dance with your family or get a bunch of your friends together and bring the celebration to you!
In order to prepare to celebrate myself, I put on some comfy clothes, set up my computer on my kitchen table and danced along as Nigel Lythgoe and Adam Shankman on YouTube broke down the steps to the Everybody Dance routine (if you are a fan of So You Think You Can Dance you know who they are!). What’s great about learning this way is you can see it modeled for you and rehearse it as many times as you need to get the choreography down.
As fun as it was to do the dance alone in my kitchen (and I’m not being sarcastic here – the kitchen is one of my favorite private places to dance), I started to dream of how else I could participate in National Dance Day. Since I will not be in San Diego and cannot make it to either the LA or Washington D.C. celebrations, I am thinking I may just have to gather as many east coast friends as I can muster at a big beautiful park somewhere in Connecticut and have a little dance party of my own!
I guess I can’t actually check off #7 just yet, but it’s a start.
If you’d like to work on checking off #7 and learn the choreography yourself or you are just curious to learn more about National Dance Day, check out the Dizzy Feet Foundation’s website to learn more. For now, I’m off to practice the Everybody Dance choreography. 5-6-7-8…[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]
Deirdre is a teaching artist and AI coach in the San Diego public schools dedicated to helping classroom teachers make arts an integral part of their teaching. Deirdre has an MEd in Arts Integration and over twenty years of classroom and performing arts teaching experience. Email Deirdre.