Sunday lobby Indian dancer

In 2006, Anupama Mirle of Nrityarpana School of Performing Arts was invited to join the International Dance Council — UNESCO's umbrella organization for all forms of dance in the world. With this invitation came the need for a local celebration of on or around the day that UNESCO declared "World Dance Day."

By 2009, thanks to Nrityarpana's organizing efforts, Greater Cincinnati joined the world in celebrating dance and diversity. World Dance Day celebrates a universal appreciation of dance across many cultures. It is a celebration of heritage and the differences between us all.

Last year 200 participants, representing 16 countries, participated in Nrityarpana's World Dance Day Celebration. The festivities return tomorrow, Saturday, May 11, from 3-5 p.m. at the Saint Ursula Academy Theatre. More than a dozen groups will perform, including Nrityarpana Indian Dance School, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, Cassandra, QKIDZ, Bing Yang Chinese Performing Art Center, Revolution Dance Theatre, Faten Munger, Emily Newman, Shakira al-Fanninah, Heroes Rise, Saint Ursula Academy Dance Team, Nigerian West and more. Dancers of all levels are welcome to join in!

The arts have a unique ability to create shared experiences, bridging sometimes vast cultural divides. Despite many differences, every culture dances. Events like these give us the opportunity to discover some of what makes each culture unique — and some of what binds us all together.

Click here for more information on World Dance Day.