|The National Hand Dance Association (NHDA) will host its Second Annual Competition at the Washington Convention Center on March 10, 2001. The event will showcase the legendary stylings of swing, bop and hand dance via workshops, open dancing, and dance exhibitions.
Local and out of state contestants will compete in a series of boogie woogie matches that will showcase the distinct art form that consists of a succession of complicated arm twists and turns combined with various intricate foot movements.
NHDA's mission is to preserve this culture for current and future generations by educating, promoting and disseminating information regarding the history of dance.
Hand dancing has its roots in the swing dancing styles of the early 1920s. During the 1950s and 1960s amid the upsurge of the Civil Rights Movement and the introduction of rock 'n' roll and rhythm and blues, African-American teenagers revolutionized the hand dance art form into a social phenomenon that was the origin of what is now called American pop culture.
In the upcoming competition, the only criteria contestants need possess is a burning desire to compete. "All people need to do is register," said S. Earl Pope, President of NHDA. But be warned the competition will be fierce. "These people have been practicing forever, dancing is a way of life for them," said Pope.
Workshops will run from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. The competition will commence at 5 p.m. with open dancing intervals continuing until 2 a.m. Winners will receive cash prizes and trophies totaling $6,000.
The next event on NHDA's agenda is the Marvin Gaye Day celebrations scheduled for April 1, 2001. For more information on the dance competition and other events, please call The National Hand Dance Association at 202-479-1089 or visit the website www.handdance.org.