Since its beginnings in 2010, the event developed by So You Think You Can Dance co-creator Nigel Lythgoe—National Dance Day—celebrates all things movement on the last Saturday in July. On Saturday, July 26, Philadelphia has decided to put a local twist on the national occurrence by inviting dancers of all levels to numerous studios around the city for free workshops, performances, and a big party during Philadelphia Dance Day.
The day starts at Headlong Studios in Newbold for a 45 minute fitness dance class that incorporates elements of martial arts, healing arts and dance called NIA, starting at 9 a.m.
A traditional style of dance gets a fitness reboot at 10 a.m. at Major Moment Studio on South Street. Tap shoes aren’t required (but wear them if you have them!) at Tap Tonic, where you’ll use tap dancing routines to work up a sweat.
I’m not sure if jazz hands apply to this class, but you’re more than welcome to bring ‘em out during a beginner jazz workshop at CEG Performing Arts Academy on Broad Street at 11 a.m. where you’ll not only learn basic jazz technique, but take a shot at mastering the official National Dance Day beginner routine.
Later in the day back at Headlong Studios learn some moves from the Eastern hemisphere with an intro to Indonesian dance starting at noon. Learn the basics in terminology, body movements and techniques for 45 minutes.
It’s never too late to discover your passion for ballet. The Philadelphia Dance Academy in Old City welcomes adult beginner ballet dancers for a class that covers basic positions and movements at 1 p.m.
Get an ab workout and be the envy of all your friends after you master the art of bellydancing at Studio 1831 in Fairmount from 1 p.m. to 1:45 p.m.
Holy Bachata. A dance that originated in the Dominican Republic, Bachata is a partner dance that you’ll learn the basic footwork to at 1:30 p.m. at Art in Motion Dance Academy in Center City.
Adults only at a sexier class at Headlong Studios at 2 p.m. Work with a burlesque dancer to get your fitness fix and learn a thing or two about the art of the striptease.
Partners aren’t necessary during this introductory Tango class at Major Moment Studio. Starting at 4 p.m., venture into this challenging style of dance for 45-minute class.
So you say you’re official? Then learn the official choreography for this year’s National Dance Day at Grays Ferry-located Christian Street YMCA at 4 p.m. This class is open for all ages, but if you’re under 14, better bring a parent with you.
The evening’s main event takes place at Rittenhouse Square. The Ethical Society of Philadelphia holds classes from 5:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. like Cardio Bellydance, Lindy Hop and Salsa. But at 9 p.m. the floor opens up to social dancing and other performances until the night’s end.
And while all classes are free, excluding the one-time $5 fee for evening sessions at the Ethical Society of Philadelphia (and some with a $2 donation entry price), and require no registration, it’s encouraged that you arrive prior to the class’ start time to ensure you get a spot.