International Dance Day  - April 29th, 2020

Initiated in 1982 by the International Dance Committee of the UNESCO International Theatre Institute, International Dance Day falls on April 29 of every year, commemorating the birthday of Jean-Georges Noverre, a distinguished choreographer that brought about significant reforms in ballet production. Every year, an international message authored by a well-known dance personality is circulated around the world as part of International Dance Day celebrations.

ITI Unesco Message

Gregory Vuyani MAQOMA, South Africa 
Dancer, Choreographer, Actor, Dance Educator

"It was during an interview I had recently that I had to think deeply about dance, what does it mean
to me? In my response, I had to look into my journey, and I realized that it was all about purpose
and each day presents a new challenge that needs to be confronted, and it is through dance that I try
to make sense of the world. " 
Continue reading Gregory's message HERE

Bio for Gregory Vuyani 

Canadian Messages

In addition to the International message, many regions are sharing Canadian messages to keep us moving and inspired. 

Nova Scotia

Sarah Prosper’s International Dance Day Message for Nova Scotia
Dance is known as the interpretation and freedom of movement to a select rhythm. But is it more than this? What if our movement is what helps the grass weep and rivers flow? What if our dancing is a unique form of having an interconnection to the earth? Indigenous people have walked the earth giving thanks to mother earth and have valued their connection to the land, to show respect, to be guided and to live as our ancestors once did. Continue reading the 2020 Nova Scotia Message by Sarah Prosper. 

Continue reading about National Dance Week celebrations in Nova Scotia.


Janie and Márcio present the Québec Message for International Dance Day 2020. At the invitation of the Regroupement québécois de la danse (RQD), Janie Richard and Márcio Vinícius Paulino Silveira have delivered a unifying message for International Dance Day 2020.

Dance embodies multitudes. Now art, now sport, it is enriched by 1,001 styles, from classical to swing, salsa, vogue and breakdance. Each possesses its own steps, movements and colours, in the same way that each language has its own words, idioms and accents. But that’s where the comparison ends, as there are no language barriers in dance. A choreography speaks to us and touches us, and we grow through it, even if we don’t quite understand all its subtleties, codes and secrets. Continue reading HERE.

Additionally, view the beautiful video message. Some 100 Quebecers of all ages and from all horizons took part in this joint project by filming themselves at home, alone or with their families.


International Dance Day Message For Ontario From Jera Wolfe

Dancing is powerful, it has the strength to heal, tell stories, and break down societal walls. Dance has been with us since the earliest moments of our existence. Let it be the conduit of ritual, a passing of energy from those who have come before us. Let it shape who we are and continually challenge us to grow. Be open and vulnerable, and ask the questions we should be asking. Never be afraid to dance and never be afraid to explore movement with others. Continue reading full message HERE.


Alberta Dance Alliance has invited inspiring dance artists from across the province to share messages in celebration of International Dance Day. Read and watch video messages from Kim Cooper (Decidedly Jazz Danceworks), Wen Wei Wang (Ballet Edmonton), Wunmi Idowu (Woezo Africa Music & Dance Theatre Inc.), Yukichi Hattori (H/W School of Ballet) and more! Read all the messages HERE.


by Michelle Olson, Raven Spirit Dance

On this International Day of Dance, I think back to the last time I was in the studio, dancing with others and sharing my work with an audience.

7 weeks ago, I was working with a group of beautiful Indigenous women, moving together, skin on skin, breath on breath, our hugs catching our tears and our joys erupting in laughter. Our movement and our bodies carved out a contemporary ceremony for all of us, at the centre of which we could all sit. A dance that celebrates gathering and the holding of each other and ourselves.

Who knew that we were taking these moments for granted. Who knew that weeks later distance between bodies would no longer be just a choreographic tool but would become a necessity. Who knew that this innate human need to somatically connect with each other was an impulse that we could no longer follow.  
Continue reading here 

Photo: Raven Spirit Dance Society photo Erik Zennstrom

Previous messages:

Read the 2019 International Message by Karima Mansour
Read the 2018 Canadian Message by Vivine Scarlett 
Read the 2017 Canadian Message by Roger Sinha
Read the 2016 Canadian Message by Susanne Chui
Read the 2015 Canadian Message by Luca 'Lazylegz' Patuelli
Read the 2014 Canadian Message by Santee Smith
Read the 2013 Canadian Message by Vicki Adams Willis
Read the 2012 Canadian message by Yvon Soglo "Crazy Smooth"

Canadian Dance Assembly
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