Dance is a part of the human condition. As toddlers, we explore movement and learn how to dance before we learn how to speak. We are all dancers at heart, but many of us forget what it feels like to move to a beat once we leave those early years behind.
Sharing Dance is a free national program that gets Canadians of all ages and abilities healthy, active, and artistically engaged through creative dance activities.
Each year, Sharing Dance provides a new dance routine, opportunities to rehearse, and online learning resources, culminating in an annual nationwide dance event called Sharing Dance Day.
Sharing Dance Day takes place across Canada
This year, Sharing Dance Day takes place on Friday, June 3 in communities and schools across Canada.
Sharing Dance was developed in partnership with Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet School and Physical and Health Education Canada to inspire every Canadian to dance for a healthier body and mind. Participation in the programs is free. Get more information at the Sharing Dance website and by following them on social media using the hashtag #SharingDance.
In the NBS studios in Toronto, a group of dancers have already been rehearsing this year’s routine for several months in preparation for Sharing Dance Day. Julissa is one of the smallest but most enthusiastic participants. She can usually be found front and centre, bursting with infectious energy and a big smile.
Julissa has been dancing on her own since she was a little girl, but she had never taken any classes before she joined Sharing Dance. Now she comes to rehearsal every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and she would come every day if she could. When she’s not at rehearsal, she practices on her own at home with online videos.
Many children aren’t interested in organized sports. Dance provides these children with a unique opportunity to develop physical literacy and fitness in a fun, accessible, and non-competitive environment.
When asked why she loves dance so much, Julissa responds simply with a shy smile, “Dancing makes me happy.”
She says that she wants to keep dancing for the rest of her life, and she hopes to become a professional dancer someday. Her favourite part of this year’s routine is the chorus, and she can’t wait to perform it in front of all her friends and family on Sharing Dance Day.
In addition to physical health benefits, dance also offers emotional and mental health benefits. As a hybrid of art and athleticism, it combines rigorous activity with creativity and freedom of expression, and improves quality of life in the process.
Sharing Dance isn’t just for kids
There are also Sharing Dance programs specifically for adults and seniors. One senior participant is Dorothy “Dot” Gordon. Dot hasn’t been dancing all of her life, but she’s probably been dancing all of your life. Now 90, she’s been dancing for 66 years since she discovered dance class at the age of 24.
Dot is participating in her third Sharing Dance routine and says she loves the variety of dance styles and music found in the routines. She particularly loves the diversity of ages in the rehearsals and sincerely believes that dancing keeps her young and her brain in good working order. And she’s a great role model for newcomers such as Julissa.
How to get involved in Sharing Dance
Parents and educators are welcome to get kids involved in the Sharing Dance program. Learn about the free rehearsals and events taking place in your community. You can also learn the routine on your own at home with our online videos.
Embrace your inner dancer! Learn this year’s Sharing Dance routine with your community group or online, and join us for Sharing Dance Day on June 3. You don’t need any previous experience in dance, only a desire to get moving to the music.