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International Dance Day

Each year, the Canadian Dance Assembly(CDA) along with its member service organizations (which includes Dance NS), asks a someone from the Canadian dance scene to deliver a message to Canada for International Dance Day (IDD), which takes place on April 29th each year. Last year was our year to really celebrate and here's why: 

International Dance Day 2016

We are thrilled to announce that this year's message (2016) comes from Halifax dancer/choreographer Susanne Chui.  Susanne is the Co-Artistic Director of Mocean Dance and a moving force in the East Coast dance scene. From the office, to the studio, to the stage, Susanne is deeply committed to contributing to the collective voice of Canadian dance. Here is her inspiring and heartfelt message to Canada for IDD 2016: 

"We are always in motion; our blood flows, our lungs expand and contract and our hearts beat like a drum keeping time. All around us the world is in motion; leaves flutter, waves roll and crash, cars zip by. Inside of this wonderful life-song our minds and spirits swirl, connecting us to our inner and outer worlds and to each other. Dance is inside and all around us; all we have to do is open to it. 
 
Remember the first time you felt the urge to dance. Perhaps it was a moment of pure joy or a moment of sorrow; maybe you were alone or with others, in your living room, in a dance class, in an open field; perhaps there was music playing or perhaps it was quiet. Something inside of you could not be contained. You were moved and it moved you. Dancing from this place is expansive, it's electric. You can see it in children moving freely; you can see it in someone letting loose on a dance club floor; and you can see it in a brilliant performance on stage.
 
It is from this pure place of dance that I call upon us to awaken this International Dance Day (and every day!), and to share it with the world.  


Happy International Dance Day from the East Coast! " ~ Susanne Chui

 

National Youth Ambassador for Dance: Luca "Lazylegz" Patuelli

Last year's IDD message was delivered by Luca 'Lazylegz' Patuelli and struck such a chord with students across the country, that the CDA and member service organizations agreed to invite Luca to stay on as National Youth Ambassador for Dance. In this role, he will demonstrate to young Canadians how dance can improve one's physical health, emotional well-being, intellectual development, cultural expression, creativity and mental health.  HiIs incredible story is continuing to inspire young students across the country to follow their dreams, not just in dance, but whatever those dreams are, for everyday of their lives. As he says in last year's message (which you can read below): "... live your life to the fullest and dance beautifully."

 

"No matter what age, race, sex or ability one may have, everyone can dance. Dance is within all of us. Some choose to share it with others and some choose to keep it to themselves. Life is a dance whether we know it or not. We are constantly dancing with every movement we make, with every breath we take, and with every beat our hearts make, a rhythm is being created. It’s the slightest movements that make the greatest difference in a performance, just like in life it’s the little things that matter. Dance is the connection between you and the universe; while we are dancing we are developing ourselves based on the energy, the emotions, and the challenges we experience. It is up to us to determine how we want to communicate our dance to the world. Dance is the ultimate form of self-expression and it is the escape that always reminds us that everything is going to be ok. Dance challenges us to surpass our limitations by discovering strength within. So, live your life to the fullest and dance beautifully!"

Canada's National Dance Week, built around UNESCO's International Dance Day, will be taking place this year from April 22nd until the 29th. During this week communities across the country will be participating in an array of dance-related events promoting not only the importance of creative expression, but also the strengthening of community bonds. As shown in a recent New England Journal of Medicine study, dance, more than any other physical activity, contributes largely to brain health and function as well as physical wellness. It also provides a host of other benefits to the individual and community such as social cohesion, creative economy and empowerment of youth. Dance week presents the opportunity to celebrate the many ways in which dance contributes to human existence and reminds us of the significant role it plays within our history and culture.