Here is a message about the day from the International Dance Council-UNESCO, of which I am a member.
Official Message for Dance Day
29 April 2009
29 April 2009
The future of dance lies where there are persons who do not dance.
These belong to two categories: those who simply did not learn, and those who think that they are not able to dance. They represent the greatest challenge for the dance teacher's profession.
In line with UNESCO's struggle against prejudice and discrimination, we are trying to expand the boundaries of dance and to change the current perception of what a dancer is.
Dance performances are not necessarily exhibitions of extreme physicality, accurate precision, or bursting emotion - they can be celebrations of interaction between performers. We can enrich dance concerts with dancers, singers, actors, narrators, mimes, acrobats etc., of all ages and all degrees of ability.
Bringing the 'excluded' into dance is a moral duty, but also opens a great door in times of economic crisis and unemployment. In every country there are millions of persons with physical or mental disabilities. We believe they are ready to dance.
They will create jobs to thousands of dance teachers. They can be assisted by the Ministry of Health, whose budget is many times bigger than that of the Ministry of Culture.
Integrating marginalized persons into the practice of dance is as important as integrating them into the workforce.
CID holds to the philosophy that everyone can dance.
Dance Day 2009 is dedicated to inclusive dance. Let us include all members of society into our classes and our performances.
Prof. Alkis Raftis
President of the International Dance Council CID