Angelenos Ready to Dance Their Way to Fitness

Thousands of Angelenos are expected to show off their cha-cha-cha moves, clap their hands and do the hip hop “swing-a-ling” in Downtown L.A.’s Grand Park Saturday at the National Dance Day celebration. Hosted by the Dizzy Feet Foundation and the Music Center, National Dance Day is intended to get kids, adults and senior citizens exercising and having fun while dancing. Participants will be able to dance in the Arthur J. Will Memorial Fountain splash pad and see a special performance by the Los Angeles-based dance company, Still Motion, led by Stacey Tookey, the choreographer behind the hit show So You Think You Can Dance.

Napoleon Dumo, 44, who choreographed the moves and led the crowd for National Dance Day last year, said he is looking forward to this year’s party and to dancing to Top 40 hits.

“I encourage people to just show up with a smiling face, open mind, maybe some tennis shoes or not and comfortable clothes,” said Dumo, adding that everyone is encouraged to bring family and friends.

Recognized as a national celebration by the United States Congress, the event was launched by So You Think You Can Dance television show co-creator and Dizzy Feet Foundation co-president Nigel Lythgoe in 2010. Now in its fourth year, the annual celebration takes place each year on the last Saturday in July.

In preparation for the event, organizers posted two videos on the Internet to give participants a chance to learn the moves before-hand. This year, the videos include an “Everybody Dance” routine, choreographed by film director, producer and So You Think You Can Dance judge, Adam Shankman and a Hip-Hop routine, choreographed by Napoleon and Tabitha Dumo. But Dumo stressed that knowing the routine is not necessary.

“For us it doesn’t matter if you do the national dance routine or you do your own,” said Dumo. “On Saturday, we want everyone to let loose and be free.”

The Dizzy Feet Foundation was founded in 2009 by American Idol Executive Producer Nigel Lythgoe, Director and Producer Adam Shankman, Dancing with the Stars judge, Carrie Ann Inaba, and Film and Television Actress Katie Holmes among others, to support, improve, and increase access to dance education in the United States. The foundation’s mission is to sponsor, fund and support dance education programs and provide scholarships for students studying at dance schools or institutions.

National Dance Day is free and open to the public. The event begins at 10 a.m. through 2:30 p.m. For details on the dance routines check out: