You Plus 1000s, Dancing, in Unison, Downtown

It's a rare chance to boogie in Grand Park's historic fountain.

By Alysia Gray Painter
|  Thursday, Jul 25, 2013  |  Updated 3:39 PM PDT
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You Plus 1000s, Dancing, in Unison, Downtown

National Dance Day

National Dance Day? It's happening on Saturday, July 27 and Grand Park downtown is the big HQ. You'll learn some moves and dance alongside thousands, in unison. Cool? Very.

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Many things are said about Los Angeles. Most statements tend to be quippy, some are true, some are of the jealous variety, and at least twelve percent of observations involve freeways. (Note to quip writers everywhere: You can make a SoCal freeway joke but ask yourself, by this point in our history, if it is either fresh or daring.)

But here a completely factual statement about Angelenos: We are a-ok with people breaking out in dance formation in public. We accept that a group of dancers might just start shimmying in the middle of the street. "Thriller," the most famous zombies-dancing-in-the-streets video ever, was shot downtown, after all, and hundreds of other "everyone dance!" flicks have used our city as a setting.

Meaning this: When thousands of locals dance in unison, it's no big whoop; it's a Saturday, basically. In fact it is Saturday, July 27, if you want to get specific. That's National Dance Day, and Grand Park will host oodles of Angelenos all looking to learn some moves and then shake their stuff.

Shake their stuff without paying admission. And free is truly the best way to shake one's stuff.

Grand Park is "the official West Coast flagship site" for the mega movement happening. Dizzy Feet Foundation is behind the joyful coming-together, as is The Music Center.

Now, the starry haps: Nigel Lythgoe and Adam Shankman from "So You Think You Can Dance" will be on hand to teach the National Dance Day routines; other teachers will be on hand to help, too. Mr. Lythgoe, by the by, created National Dance Day in 2010 "as a fun and positive way to maintain good health and combat obesity."

Time is 10 a.m., everything wraps by 2 p.m., and there are a few fun asterisks to mention.

Like? "(D)ance-themed games and food trucks" are part of the scene. Yep. Free dance classes, too. And our favorite bit: You'll be able to dance in the park's historic fountain.

Dancing in a fountain is totally movie-style LA. In fact, Memorial Fountain cameo'd in the "(500) Days of Summer" dance scene. You'll be shimmying it in a known cinematic setting.

And to put National Dance Day in wider perspective, our friends on the east coast'll be grooving down at the Kennedy Center in our nation's capital on the very same day.

An extra special cherry on top of this cake? There's a Celebration of Dance Gala at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion that night. Tickets start at $34, proceeds help out the Dizzy Feet Foundation, and the performers? They'll hail from the "Step Up" films, "So You Think You Can Dance," "Dancing with the Stars," and a host of other acclaimed outfits. Call it a fine way to round out a joyful, movement-forward day.

Everybody dance now, indeed. (Props, C&C Music Factory.)

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