Don't be jealous of their boogie. On National Dance Day, anyone can join in on the fun.
Celebrating the occasion for the second year, Kern Dance Alliance is offering 18 dance classes on Saturday, each for just $2. A partnership with the Cal State Bakersfield dance team, the sessions will be held throughout the day at the university's Student Recreation Center.
National Dance Day "is a low-pressure environment to try a variety of classes all in one day for only $2," said Andrea Hansen, KDA president, in an email. "We issued nearly 450 tickets during our 'Just Dance: Summer Pop-Up Series for Adults,' we know there are plenty of people out there interested in dancing!"
Started in 2010 by Nigel Lythgoe, a judge on "So You Think You Can Dance" and co-founder of American Dance Movement, National Dance Day is a celebration of all kinds of dance — every style, every level.
"Classes are taught by dance educators from across Kern County and will vary from beginning to advanced and range in dance styles," Hansen said. "From Zumba to hip-hop, swing dance to contemporary, dance classes are open to all community members, dancers and non-dancers, who want to join in the fun."
In its first year, National Dance Day sold out a week before the event, Hansen said, and the additional 70 tickets that were released after that were quickly claimed as well. This year, the event will move from the dance studio at Garces Memorial High School to Cal State Bakersfield, where it will be able to accommodate two classes at once.
"We've doubled the size of the event and are so excited to see double the amount of participants this year," Hansen said.
The day kicks off at 9 a.m., with Zumba and yoga for dancers classes. Every hour, there will be another two classes, each of them 50 minutes long. The schedule includes several beginner-friendly classes, like tap, jazz funk and swing dance, as well as intermediate/advanced classes for those who can handle something more challenging.
"We think this year's schedule is super fun!" Hansen said. "For trained dancers, they can literally dance their way through all nine hours."
There also are a few classes for specific groups, like toddler tap and a Dance for Disabilities class. One class will take participants through a "college dance team experience," which Hansen said is great for any high school dancers who want to know more about the CSUB dance team.
"One of the classes we are very proud of is the Mexican folk dance class," Hansen said. "KDA loves to celebrate cultural dance; this is a chance for anyone interested in folklorico movement to give the art form a try."
General admission for the classes is $2 for each, but KDA members get in for $1 and CSUB students get in for free with a valid student ID.
Participants should dress comfortably, with clothes and shoes they can move in. Hansen recommends getting to classes early to give plenty of time to park and find your class. Sessions are likely to fill up, so people should register online in advance to secure a spot.
Hansen encouraged anyone interested to "celebrate our national dance holiday. Get out there and dance!"
PACKED FALL CALENDAR
National Dance Day is the beginning of a very busy fall season for Kern Dance Alliance. Next month, the organization will present two public events: "Ten Tiny Dances" at the annual Downtown Street Party on Oct. 11 and "A Movement Flight" at Temblor Brewing Co. on Oct. 12.
The first event will feature 10 local and national dancers of different styles performing on a 4-by-4-foot stage set up at the party in The Park at the Mark and Wall Street Alley. Admission for the party is $30 in advance and $35 at the gate.
The second event will bring dance to an unlikely venue, giving people the chance to enjoy it in a new way. The New York City-based Schoen Movement Company will perform, as will local musician Vince Galindo. Tickets are $35, $30 for KDA members. Guests will have the opportunity to help KDA raise more money by preordering the MOOve Burger and brew for $50.
More educational events from KDA are coming this season. The "SHINE for Girls" math and dance program will celebrate with a graduation ceremony (featuring Cal State Bakersfield president Lynette Zelezny as speaker) on Oct. 26 at Garces' dance studio.
The fall "ADAPTIdance" program, a partnership with League of Dreams, is currently looking for student interns to help with the upcoming six-week session. Interested dancers with three years of formal training need to apply by Sept. 23.
Finally, on Nov. 13, KDA will host its fifth annual Children's Dance Education and Outreach event, which offers underprivileged kids in the community a chance to learn dance. The organization is currently accepting applications for performers (deadline Oct. 30) and for children participants and volunteers (deadline for both Nov. 8).