World Dance Party Celebrates Generational, Ethnic Diversity

by Susan Fried

Designed by community for community, World Dance Party brings together friends and neighbors, young and old, of all ethnicities, from across the City and beyond, to Southeast Seattle in celebration of cultural diversity.

The idea for World Dance Party arose at an Aging Your Way gathering hosted by Sound Generations (then Senior Services) several years ago. Lack of connections—between elders and young people, and between neighbors of different ethnicities—was a common theme brought up at the event. One solution, a fun multi-cultural dance and potluck.

Organized by an all-volunteer committee, World Dance Party has hosted more than a dozen parties since its inception, several per year, at varying community centers, each attended by 100 to 250 people.

After sharing a meal together, attendees are taught several multi-cultural dances in 20-minute mini-lessons instructed by volunteer dancers. Dances have included Tahitian, Somali, Hip-Hop, Bollywood, Latin, Ethiopian, and line dancing instructed by the ever-popular Senior Sliders. Then, everyone dances. There is no other agenda. No lectures. Just food and dancing and community.

Returning to its roots, the most recent World Dance Party was held at the Southeast Senior Center this past Friday, January 12. Nearly 150 people showed up and boogied, forging connections along the way.

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Susan Fried is a Seattle based freelance journalist whose work has appeared in The Seattle Globalist and Skanner newspapers. 

All photos by Susan Fried