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Dancing Around the World: Celebrating International Dance Day with Kids

Article by A.J. Solano

On April 29th every year, the world straps on its dancing shoes to celebrate International Dance Day—a day dedicated to the art of dance, showcasing its universal appeal and the incredible way it transcends cultural, political, and ethnic barriers. For families and children, this day provides a wonderful opportunity to explore different cultures through the joyous expression of dance. Here’s how you can make International Dance Day a magical and educational experience for your little ones.

Explore Global Dance Styles

Start by exploring a variety of dance styles from around the world. Whether it’s the energetic Bollywood dance from India, the elegant ballet from Russia, the fiery flamenco from Spain, or the rhythmic samba from Brazil, each dance has a story to tell. Use videos or local dance workshops to see these dances in action and learn about their historical and cultural significance.

Dance Story Time

Integrate dance with storytelling. As an author of children's books like "Patchwork Tales: Animals and the ABC's," I find dance a fantastic medium to extend the narratives. You can create a simple story where characters from different countries solve a problem by teaching each other their traditional dances. This not only makes the story engaging but also educational.

Craft Your Own Dance Costumes

Engage in a craft session where you and your children can make costumes or props related to different dances. For instance, crafting colorful skirts for a flamenco dance or masks for a traditional African dance can be both fun and informative. This activity supports creativity and helps children connect more deeply with the dances they are learning about.

Family Dance Party

What better way to celebrate than with a dance party? Curate a playlist with a variety of international music and let everyone in the family take turns teaching a dance move or two. This encourages participation and turns learning into a joyous family activity.

Reflect and Appreciate

After your dance-filled day, sit down with your children to reflect on what they learned. Discuss the different emotions and stories conveyed through dance, and how despite many differences, dance is a language spoken universally.

International Dance Day is not just about dance; it's about opening doors to the world's rich cultural heritage. It encourages us to embrace diversity and celebrate it through the universal language of dance. Let’s twirl our way into a deeper understanding and appreciation of this art form, creating lasting memories and a heightened sense of global community among our young ones.


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