Happy International Dance Day! Here’s how you can celebrate (even if you’ve two left feet)

A young man dances during a show of traditions for Masnytsia, a holiday that originates in pagan times, celebrating the end of winter, in Kyiv, Ukraine, 16 March, 2024.
A young man dances during a show of traditions for Masnytsia, a holiday that originates in pagan times, celebrating the end of winter, in Kyiv, Ukraine, 16 March, 2024. Copyright Vadim Ghirda/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved.
Copyright Vadim Ghirda/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved.
By Anca Ulea
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It’s International Dance Day on 29 April, a time to celebrate the art of movement! Here's how to celebrate in Europe and online - even if you've got two left feet.


Get your dancing shoes on because it’s International Dance Day! The global celebration is a chance to heap high praise on all forms and styles – from traditional folk to modern and contemporary dance to hip hop and funk.

The day caps a month of events across the world dedicated to movement and the art of dancing. So what can you do to celebrate? 

We’ve put together a guide of toe-tapping gatherings and accounts you can check out today.

But first, what is International Dance Day?

International Dance Day has been celebrated on 29 April every year since 1982. The day marks the birthday of Jean-Georges Noverre, the creator of modern ballet.

The point of International Dance Day, according to its organiser, the International Theatre Institute, is to bring people together across the globe with the common language of dance.

Each year, a choreographer or dancer is featured, and a message written by them is circulated throughout the world.

Argentinian Marianela Núñez is this year’s featured dancer, and her message is to honour the history and traditions that have served as a foundation for the current dance landscape.

Get inspiration from these European dance Instagram accounts

Little Shao - Breakdancing across the City of Light

Paris-based dance photographer Little Shao has been documenting dancers around the world for years. His spectacular photographs showcase some of the most iconic places in the City of Light, brought to life through some even more spectacular poses from top dancers. Little Shao, who grew up in the Paris suburbs, is one of the official photographers for breakdancing at this year’s Summer Olympics in Paris – and he’s also a b-boy himself.

“I started taking photos in order to be able to better represent this style of dance, so people could understand what breakdancing is,” he told French media. “For me, breakdancing is an art form. There’s something very freeing about breakdancing and hip-hop in general.”

Cairde - Irish dancing goes global

This group of lads have introduced the world to Irish dancing through their viral social media videos where they tap their toes to popular songs, from Taylor Swift to The Game. Their a cappella videos are also a hit with ASMR-heads. The group has travelled around the planet, performing in Paris to a crowd of 80,000 people and at the White House for US President Joe Biden. Check them out for a dose of good vibes.

Ghetto Funk Collective - Bringing the boogie

Speaking of good vibes, the Rotterdam-based dance group Ghetto Funk Collective is a guaranteed source of smiles. They bring the funk and can teach you how to boogie, too, through their new locking master class. If you’re rhythmically-challenged, you can still catch some feels through their contagiously-joyful videos.

Biscuit Ballerina - Laughing through the pain of ballet perfectionism

Ballet dancer Shelby Williams, a soloist with Ballett Zürich, pokes fun at the perfectionism often demanded of ballet dancers with her comedy dance account Biscuit Ballerina.

“It’s a satire ballet account which turns all of the flaws of ballet into one giant caricature which dancers can then giggle at and move past in their own pursuit of perfection,” she said.

Williams features bloopers from other dancers as well as lighthearted skits that offer a fresh take on dance struggles. It’s not all grace and elegance, folks.

Get out of the house and see some live dance performances

Belgium - Danses en Fête festival

It’s the final day of the Danses en Fête festival in Belgium and there are events taking place across the country. The annual festival features exhibitions, conferences, performances and master classes on different types of dance. This Monday, you can take dance classes, participate in workshops, watch outdoor dances, and reimagine pole dancing with a Brussels-based performer.

Check out the full programming here.

Budapest - 24th International Budapest Dance Festival

The Hungarian capital is hosting its 24th annual International Budapest Dance Festival through 11 May with a celebration of contemporary dance - both local and global. To mark International Dance Day, the Association of Hungarian Dance Artists and the National Dance Theatre is presenting a joint gala performance featuring the work of Director-choreographer Balázs Vincze.

You’ll find more information and all programming for the festival here.


Paris - Young dancers in the spotlight for “Puzzle”

Head to Le Jeune Ballet Européen in the French capital to take a journey through 10 different universes of dance featuring some of the most talented young dancers on the scene. The show “Puzzle” features 10 short pieces ranging from hip-hop to ballet to contemporary dance that showcases the talent of 29 young artists.

The student company allows young dancers to grow and learn by putting on performances in front of live audiences. They’re supported by experienced choreographers, stage directors and technicians. Catch a performance this evening, or until 24 June.

Check out the International Dance Day live streams from OperaVision

If you’d rather just curl up on the couch and watch some professional dancers from home, OperaVision has a whole day of livestream programming on YouTube that features dances from across Europe. Immerse yourself in Romanian folk dancing, or sit in on performances from the Royal Swedish Ballet, the Lviv National Ballet and the Opera Ballet Vlaanderen.

Here’s the playlist.

Happy International Dance Day! Put your best foot forward and we hope we've got your toes a'tappin'.

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