101 places to go – Big Dance 2012

One of the hardest things about choosing a recommended destination is ensuring it’s accessible to as many people as possible. Sure, we’ve recommended more than a few hidden gems and fantastic attractions off the beaten path, but this week’s is about as inclusive as it gets.

Running every two years since its first event in 2006, Big Dance is a nine-day celebration of dance and dancing in some of the UK’s most spectacular and unlikely locations. Ever wanted to dance in the centre of Liverpool without getting arrested? Do you fancy joining the throng to cut a rug in the centre of Trafalgar Square? How about watching a classic Hollywood dance film in the open air? You can do all this and more from 7-15 July in locations all over the country. So whether you’re a social butterfly, or more of a wallflower, there’s going to be plenty to get your feet tapping, your body moving and your brain engaged.

We’re going to select a few events to highlight below but you can find many more on the event website. Also, feel free to post a comment below if you’re organising your own.

• If you’re anything like us you will probably have difficulty co-ordinating your own body on the dance-floor. Pity then Wayne McGregor CBE, who has the unenviable task of coordinating a dance routine featuring 2000 participants in London’s Trafalgar Square. As part of the UK’s Big Street Dance Day (14 July) films will also be shown of Big Dance Rio and Big Dance Beijing.

• The Dundee Dance walk is, as the title suggests, a lovely stroll through the city incorporating its dance heritage. There are site specific performances by a number of local groups and later on in the evening of 15 July, you can gain a further appreciation at The McManus: Dundee’s Art Gallery & Museum. You may even get to join in! Both events are free but the walk is ticketed.

• Dunwich Beach in Suffolk will be hosting a participatory ‘Big Dance by the Sea’ on 14 July from 11 am till 1pm. Woking’s ‘Party in the Park’ will be offering an array of free performances and activities set within themed zones and tents around Woking Park, including music and dance stages, a children’s field and more. This event takes place on 7 July. Liverpool will also be getting into the spirit with City Steps, which showcases the finale of Big Dance North West in a performance with over 1,250 community participants. This takes place at 2:30pm on the steps of Liverpool 1.

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