About a thousand dancers, wanna-be-, and soon-to-be-dancers jammed Kennedy Center’s Grand Foyer to join actress Jenna Elfman and “So You Think You Can Dance” (SYTYCD) 2013 winner Fik-Shun in performing two routines for National Dance Day July 26.
“Can you believe it? This is incredible — it’s really packed — Awesome,” Elfman exclaimed, as she looked out at the shoulder-to-shoulder crowd throughout Kennedy Center’s 630-foot Grand Foyer.
Elfman and “So You Think You Can Dance” (SYTYCD) 2013 winner Fik-Shun taught this year’s National Dance Day routine, “Everybody Dance”, choreographed by SYTYCD co-creator, executive producer, and judge Nigel Lythgoe to the song “Too Cool To Dance” by Eden xo.
Elfman and Fik-Shun Stegall also taught a more advanced routine for those who KNOW they can dance. It was created by “So You Think You Can Dance” choreographer Chris Scott to Mark Ballas’ “Get My Name”. You’ve gotten Ballas’ name, his dancing, and choreography on “Dancing With The Stars”.
“I like it…It feels so good,” Ballas sings, as if echoing the mood.
“Groove it, down down down, shake shake shake,” encouraged Fik-Shun. “This is like an advanced hip hop dance party.”
Dancing just about in unison, the crowd ranged from an elderly but spry bald guy to a toddler in a multitiered, multicolored tutu.
“You guys’re fast learners,” the actress-dancer said. “But it doesn’t matter if you mess up — you’re still moving your body and having fun.”
And that’s what National Dance Day wants everyone to learn — and that’s official.
National Dance Day was established by Congress to encourage dancing as a fun, positive way to promote physical fitness and fight obesity. Events were held in Los Angeles, New York, and elsewhere across the country.
The resolution was introduced by D.C. Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, who told the audience, “Dance for fun, for health, for losing weight — and there’s no better way to do this than dance.”
The July 26 event celebrated not only “the power of dance”, but also the 24th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The day’s most powerful performances included a dancer in a wheelchair partnering seamlessly, vividly, and at times sensuously and fiercely with others in the AXIS Dance Company.
Many of the young performers from CityDance and Joy of Motion were astounding. They partner with the Drug Enforcement Administration’s DEA Youth Dance Program that offers a “free, positive alternative to drugs, through the fun, positive, expressive form of dance” in D.C. and 25 other U.S. cities.
After two tiny freestylers performed, their instructor said that when kids tell him they don’t have rhythm, he responds, “You have your own rhythm. You have your own style.”
All of the performers demonstrated extraordinary style, fantastic rhythm, plus the power and joy of dance.
“Keep that groove going,” Golden Globe winner and professionally trained ballerina Elfman told the cheering crowd. “You’ve made my year, by the way.”
So, keep on grooving and dancing on National Dance Day, and every day of every year.
For more info: National Dance Day, http://dizzyfeetfoundation.org/national-dance-day, July 26. Supported by Dizzy Feet Foundation, co-founded by “So You Think You Can Dance” (SYTYCD) co-creator, executive producer, judge Nigel Lythgoe and SYTYCD director, producer, judge Adam Shankman. “So You Think You Can Dance” (SYTYCD), http://www.fox.com/dance. Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage, has free programs every evening at 6 P.M., 2700 F Street, N.W., Washington, D.C.