Steamboat Springs extends National Dance Day to a one-week celebration | SteamboatToday.com

Steamboat Springs extends National Dance Day to a one-week celebration

Liz Forster

— Across the country on Saturday, dancers will celebrate National Dance Day with classes, flash mobs and a national routine. In Steamboat Springs, the dance community has extended its celebration by offering free classes throughout this week.

"National Dance Day, which was founded in 2010, celebrates movement and dance and helps get people interested in dance," Steamboat Dance Theatre's marketing and fundraising coordinator Meg Southcott said. "We took it to the next level by celebrating it as a week-long event."

Classes began Monday with McKendry McGowen's Irish dance class at Elevation Dance Studio. Other classes will continue throughout the week, giving participants opportunities to learn Zumba, two-step, fusion dance, belly dance, aerial hammock, Dance to the Core and yoga classes at Elevation Dance Studio, Schmiggity's, Sundance Studio, the Depot Art Center and Steamboat Pilates and Fitness.

"These studios have donated their space to come in for classes for free," Southcott said. "It's really a chance to get people interested in moving and try something they’ve never tried before."

All classes are donation-based, with proceeds contributing to the Steamboat Dance Theatre fund that provides four scholarships to dancers in and around Steamboat.

One of the more unique classes this week is beginners aerial hammock class at noon Thursday taught by Heidi Miller, an aerials and pilates teacher at Steamboat Pilates and Fitness.

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"This week is important because there is such a broad range of performing arts, and this gives people options to explore," said Miller, who has taught aerial since 2014 and aerial silks as of last week. "Aerials in particular is such a beautiful way to express yourself in the air."

Miller structures her aerial classes to create a balance of flexibility, strength training and teaching concepts that create skills.

"These are the building blocks to flying," Miller said. "This order helps people grasp the concepts to put them together to nail down technique in the air while making the class really fun at the same time."

In addition to the classes, Steamboat Dance Theatre has shared the National Dance Day’s beginner and advanced national dance to "Shut Up and Dance" by Walk the Moon on the theatre’s website for locals to learn. Originally, Steamboat Dance Theatre was going to host a group dance session for those who learned the choreography Saturday in Gondola Square, but due to scheduling complications, the event was cancelled.

National Dance Day was founded in 2010 by Nigel Lythgoe, co-creator of the FOX TV show "So You Think You Can Dance" and co-president of the Dizzy Feet Foundation. The grassroots campaign strives to promote dance as a "fun and positive way to maintain good health and fight obesity," according to the Dizzy Feet Foundation's website.

For more information and an updated schedule for National Dance Day events in Steamboat, visit http://www.steamboatdancetheatre.org/scholarships/. Please note the updated schedule is at the bottom of the page.

To reach Liz Forster, call 970-871-4374, email lforster@SteamboatToday.com or follow her on Twitter @LizMForster

If you go

Tuesday: ZUMBA at Elevation Dance Studio, 5:30 p.m.; two-step at Schmiggity’s, 7 p.m.

Wednesday: Fusion at Sundance Studio, time to be announced; belly dance at Depot Art Center, 7:30 p.m.

Thursday: Aerial at Steamboat Pilates and Fitness, noon; Dance to the Core at Sundance Studio, 5:45 p.m.; yoga at Elevation Dance Studio, 7 p.m.