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Church encourages community to get out and dance
Free lessons leading up to national event
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Forsyth County News

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Cumming First United Methodist Church, 770 Canton Hwy., will hold free dance lessons in conjunction with local dance studios from 4:30 to 8 p.m. Monday-Friday. National Dance Day routines will begin at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. Saturday. For more information, go to

While historically dance hasn’t been embraced within church walls, one local place of worship is encouraging the rhythmic movement.

Cumming First United Methodist Church will take part in National Dance Day on July 27. The church first joined the effort last year.

The event is a grassroots campaign that encourages Americans to embrace dance as a fun and positive way to maintain good health and combat obesity.

Created in 2010 after a congresswoman introduced a resolution declaring the last Saturday in July as National Dance Day, the event has drawn more attention in recent years due to the popularity of the TV show “So You Think You Can Dance.”

As host to several arts events throughout the year, Cumming First UMC is a perfect fit for the dance effort, said John Hutchinson, director of music and art.

“We want to always be at the forefront of promoting fine arts in the Cumming and Forsyth County community,” he said in a statement.

In preparation of National Dance Day, the church will offer a week of dance lessons in partnership with seven local dance studios: Born to Dance; Cumming Dance Academy; Dancer’s Studio at Windermere; Fusion Dance; Sawnee Ballet; Still Point; and Tir Na Tralee.

Representatives from the different studios will offer several classes in genres such as jazz, tap, ballet, Irish and Broadway from 4:30 to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday at the church, 770 Canton Hwy.

The lessons culminate on Saturday with two dance routines that will be filmed.

The first, which begins with practice at 9 a.m., is called the “Everybody Dance Routine” and is the more basic of the two. Filming will start at 10 a.m.

The second, a hip hop routine that starts with practice at 11 a.m., is slightly more advanced. Filming of this routine will begin at noon.

Both videos will be submitted for inclusion on the Dizzy Feet Foundation Web site.

The Dizzy Feet Foundation, according to its Web site, was founded in 2009 by several celebrity dancers, including Nigel Lythgoe, a judge on “So You Think You Can Dance,” to “support, improve, and increase access to dance education in the United States.”

All lessons and events at Cumming First UMC this week are free and open to the public.

“All of Cumming and Forsyth County is encouraged to get out and dance July 27,” Hutchinson said.