November 29th Square Dance Day

Is there anything more American than the square dance!?! Well, yes because the square dance actually comes from the Irish, English and Scottish! However, they do not use a caller for those required directions are truly American.

square-dancing

Allemande, Promenade, Courtesy, Circulate and Do Sa Do (Or Do Si Do) are all popular commands for the square dance. If they do not sound familiar to you, you probably do not square dance.

square-dance-3

You can see the origins in Medieval dance, though their squares were more rectangles. The way royals often showed their royalty by being the only ones who knew the steps to the dance. Since America has no royalty, we use the caller to tell us what to do.

Square-Dance-Day-federation-news-january-rhofnclub-cartoonsrhfloridasquaredancecom

Generally accompanied by country or folk music with a quick beat, this dance style is both fun and rigorous. It can also be painful for those who do not know the steps. (Toes are likely to be stepped on)

download (3)

I wonder if Mr. and Mrs. Claus square dance? Perhaps it could become the traditional Christmas dance! It generally is colorful enough and it is a celebration. An new invention, The Christmas Square Dance!

How to celebrate – Learn how to square dance. Learn how to become a caller. Invent a rock and roll square dance.

October 13th Universal Music Day

October 13th Universal Music Day

c931932d2249dd9ccd608a608d771427

Music is one of the most important things in our lives. It brings back memories, calms us, excites us and brings us joy. It serves as background in elevators, drives fund raisers and just generally makes our lives better.

CuWDSYOW8AEzSjS

Today has been celebrated on the second Saturday of October since 2007. Whether you like Rock, Jazz, Rap, Blues, Classical or whatever form of music that pleases you today is the day to spend a little time listening, remembering and enjoying.

images (1)

How to celebrate – Listen to the music of your choice. Learn how to play a musical instrument. Go out dancing.

December 20th Go Caroling Day

  1. If you want to brighten someones day, go caroling. Those who are home bound, retirement homes, hospitals… they are all targets for Caroler’s who want to make the world a little better at Christmas time.

Carols have been around since the beginning of the spoken word. By definition to carol is to sing, or dance, in praise. For Christianity this may have begun around 129 when a Roman Bishop introduced “Angel’s Hymn”. It wasn’t all that popular though as it was sung in Latin which most people did not understand.

In 1223, St. Francis of Assisi, in Italy, introduced the first Carols through “Nativity” plays and songs being performed in the native areas’ language (Italian in Italy, English in Great Britain, Spanish in Spain, etc, etc, etc).  This way all the population could enjoy the Carols, not just those educated by the Catholic church.

It is the time of year to celebrate the “birth of Christ”, or for the non-believers, “life”. What better way to show your happiness, or share the joy, than by taking the gift of music to those around your neighborhood.

How to celebrate – Go caroling. Form a dance troop to perform with the carolers. Celebrate Christmas.

May 5th Cinco de Mayo Day

Today is a day of celebration in Mexican pride and culture. In fact, it is a celebration for most Hispanic people, celebrating along with Mexico, the rich and colorful songs, dancing, and parties associated with a mixed and exciting heritage.

cincodemayo

For most of Mexico history they have been under the thumb of European countries. Spain obviously ruled Mexico having defeated the Aztec Empire, but it was France that drove the Mexican population to revolt against them, culminating with the Battle of Puebla on May 5th, 1862. Independence did not come until September 16th from France but the battle was the beginning of the end.

cinco-de-mayo-parade-AB

Cinco de Mayo is a celebration of that great victory and Mexico’s recognition of being a sovereign state after so many years of repression. Perhaps the strangest part of Cinco de Mayo is that it did not actually start in Mexico! It began in California, then an American territory, when the Mexicans living there heard of the victory over the French. They fired off rifles and fireworks to celebrate, and it quickly spread south to their native land.

Cinco-de-Mayo-Parade3

Mexico has a rich and diverse background having been influenced by so many other nationalities. They have always been a colorful people who love dance, song and parties to express how they feel. And they always invite everyone else to share in their good fortune.

chicagos-cinco-de-mayo-logo

How to celebrate – Throw a party for your Hispanic friends celebrating their place in the world. Visit Mexico and take part in the culture. Dress the part today showing you support Cinco de Mayo.

January 31st Inspire Your Heart With Art Day

There is no doubt that art can inspire us to feel many things. It can make us happy, sad, angry, romantic, nationalistic… well you name it, art can spell out something our heart feels. But what in art inspires the heart to make us better people?

95578-wq0w78

Art can remind us of things we have experienced, or would like to experience. Long walks in the park, rainy days, time spent with our loved ones. Everybody sees something different in a piece of art.In the artwork above some will see the couple walking, some will see the lights, some will see the color changing on the leaves, some will see the wet setting. What do you see? How does it inspire you?

a-court-gathering-to-hear-musicSome people love classical music and others do not care for it. One fact we all have to accept is that all forms of music have it’s roots in classical music. Classical music can be exciting, soothing and do all the same things to us that a painting or piece of sculpture can do, sometimes even more. We often remember the song we heard when we met the person we love or it can stir us when we hear music that was playing when we accomplished something we felt proud of.

download-1

Dance often expresses feelings we have in another medium. While we may not be able to dance ourselves. The movement and beauty of it reminds us of things we have seen or lived. We celebrate our marriages with a dance, it may not be artful, or even coordinated, but it doesn’t matter… we showed the world our dance.

download-2

In fact, the arts can express every moment of our lives, the good and the bad, the happy and the sad. So rightfully, it the arts should be what inspire us to do more, be more and feel more. I am reminded by a friend of mine that an artist can be a dancer or painter, or a really good auto mechanic.

 

How to celebrate – Celebrate the arts by celebrating yourself and those lose to you. For fun, put a song to everyone you know. It will hep you remember them better and more often. Whatever you do, consider it an art. Do the best you can to make your art inspire yourself, and others, to be all they can be.

August 27th National Just Because Day

August 27th is Just Because Day. It was created by Joseph J. Goodwin from Los Gatos, CA in the late 1950’s, just because he could. It’s a great day for doing those things you never seem to get around to, or always wanted to do, but have never done. This year, since it’s a Saturday, you have a good chance of actually getting it done! Nothing is excluded, so long as it’s not illegal.

63-Comet

You could make your own mini-movie! It doesn’t have to be good, after all you, and your family and friends, are probably the only ones that will ever see it. The funnier the better! You can even launch it to YouTube for others to share. You don’t have to have fancy equipment or even a plot, after all most of the movies don’t have much thought to them anymore anyway!

Pay-It-Forward-Spread-002

You could pay it forward. Buy someone you don’t know breakfast or lunch, leave someone a card just because, or even help a neighbor with a project they have been meaning to get done. You certainly will surprise anyone by going out of your way to do something for them without expecting anything in return.

download (1)

You could go into a recording studio and record a song, your own, or one already made into a hit. So long as you don’t try to release it, it doesn’t matter. Who knows, maybe you will create the next big hit, or a new style of music no one has ever thought of before (good luck with that). Again, it doesn’t matter if it’s good or not, it’s just something you don’t normally do, which is the whole point of Just Because Day!

download (2)

Or instead of talking today, why not sing everything!?! You certainly will surprise everyone.

It’s all up to you because this is Just Because Day! Be inventive, creative and most of all, have fun doing it! You might not only make your day, but that of everyone you come in contact with.

How to celebrate – Well, I’ve already given you a few things to ponder but here are three more. Go bungee jumping. Splurge on a loved one. Pay a total stranger a compliment.

May 25th National Tap Dance Day

Tap dance has been around since the early 1800’s. It’s roots come from a mix of African and Irish dance and music. It’s rhythms are limited only to the imaginations of those great dancers over the years. The date for this celebration was picked to commemorate one of the first greats, Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, birthday May 25th, 1878.

vo7tea

The holiday was created by Carol Vaughn, Nicola Daval, and Linda Christensen who put the idea to Congress on February 7, 1989. President George H.W. Bush signed it into law on November 8, 1989, and the date of May 25th was selected in honor of Robinson.

Here are a few more, of the hundreds, of tap dancers that you may remember.

Gene Kelly

Annex-Kelly-Gene_01

Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire

FredGinger

Gregory Hines

fa70a224d81452d0a48a0966464f87ec

Sammy Davis Jr.

maxresdefault

Buddy Ebsen

1930s-rv-5x7

Donald O’Connor

Actor Donald O'Connor
Actor Donald O’Connor, shown in this 1954 promotional photo from Universal Studios, is best remembered for dancing and flipping on walls in the classic movie, “Singing In the Rain. ” Fans will be able to see the inside walls of O’Connors Sedona, Arizona home. The entertainer’s family is putting much of his estate on the market and allowing people take part in an essentially Hollywoodized rummage sale. O’Connor died in 2003. (AP Photo/Universal Studios) ** NO SALES **

Shirley Temple

c4f8e17525097d3747fd74412dceabf9

and Savion Grover

_73992940_solesanctuary_thehooferzclub

Check these out: Bill “Bo Jangles” Robinson, Shirley Temple, Gene Kelly, Savion Grover, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, Gregory Hines and Sammy Davis Jr., Buddy Ebsen and Donald O’Connor (note O’Connor dancing wearing roller skates)…

…Or who could forget the tap dance scene with Daddy Warbucks and Orphan Annie

How to celebrate: Try tap dancing. Buy a pair of tap shoes so you can at least make that cool clicking sound. If you can’t get your feet working, put the shoes on your hands and try. Watch a movie with any of the above dancers in it.