International Dance Day

April 27, 2018

International Dance Day

"Work like you don't need the money. Love like you've never been hurt. Dance like nobody's watching."

- Satchel Paige

Put your dancing shoes on and get ready for the year's biggest celebration of global dance - International Dance Day is this Sunday, April 29!

Dance is all about movement, expression and emotion and is represented in many different shapes and forms around the globe. International Dance Day strives to encourage participation and education in dance through events and festivals held on April 29 every year and all over the world.

 Created by the Dance Committee of the International Theatre Institute (ITI) in 1982, International Dance Day is marked each year by a spectacular Gala Celebration. This flagship event is held in a chosen host city, with the Gala Celebration for 2018 set to take place in the pulsating city of Havana, Cuba. Dance workshops and presentations will be led by a local and international cast of dance experts, with the evenings to be reserved for performances - the finale of which will be the Gala Celebration.

The intention of the International Dance Day message is to celebrate dance, and to bring people across all political, cultural and ethnic origins together with the common language that is dance.

There are 5 key goals of International Dance Day:

  • To promote dance in all its forms across the world
  • To enjoy dance in all its forms for its own sake
  • To make people aware of the value of dance in all its forms
  • To share the joy of dance with others
  • To enable the dance community to promote their work on a broad scale, so that governments and opinion leaders are aware of the value and importance of dance in all its forms and support it

 Extremely rich with culture and heritage, Bolivia has it's own array of traditional dances which are performed and celebrated throughout the year. Most festivals contain folkloric music and dancing, each with their own costumes, musical instruments and rhythms.

3 of the most practised traditional dances in Bolivia are:

Caporales - 'Dance of the Foremen'

Stemming from Afro-Andean dances in the Yungas region, Caporales is a Bolivian dance that represents the foremen who were in charge of the slaves in colonial times.

A very physically demanding dance involving lots of jumping, male dancers wear fancy outfits with heeled boots that hold cascabeles - large bells that signify the sound of the chains tied to the ankles of the slaves. In their left hand, they hold a hat and in their right hand a whip. The majority of female Caporales dancers are dressed in miniskirts and high-heeled boots and wear a round top hat.

Morenada - 'The Folkloric Dance'

With an origin that to this day is still highly debated, Morenada is easily recognizable in a procession because it has various characteristics.

There are many rattles and drums, with groups of women dressed in polleras (multilayered skirts) with bowler hats, and men wearing costumes that represent barrels and wear silver or black masks (Morenada means ‘black’).

Diablada - 'The Dance of Devils'

Arguably the most renowned traditional dance of Bolivia, Diablada forms the main part of the famous Carnaval parade in the city of Oruro. Diablada is a fabulous display of heavy, colorful masks and elaborate costumes, and is accompanied by traditional musical instruments from the Andes, such as the zampoña (pan flute) and the quena (a vertical flute). 

With an origin that is also still highly disputed, Diablada it is fantastic example of pre-hispanic traditions mixed with Spanish culture.

 Dance is central to the lives of many people from many different cultures and from many different countries around the world. Which ever style you prefer, whether it be the flair of Latin samba, the finesse of classic ballet or the pace of modern day hip hop, why not bust out a few moves this weekend.

It doesn't have to be beautiful, nor do you even need to understand it.

You simply have to enjoy it.


Written by Steve Connors


Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.