Changing the World—One Dance Party at a Time

Magnus Moseray teaches dance from his native country, Sierra Leone.
Photo courtesy of Jay Chan.

In October 2010, Magnus Moseray saw a flyer in the Columbia City Library for a World Dance Party. He only knew the little information provided by the flyer: mini dance lessons would be taught, he should bring a dish for the potluck and, most importantly, it was free.

On November 6, 2010, Magnus decided to check it out. At some point in the evening there was a break in dance lessons and Magnus decided he would teach a dance from his native country, Sierra Leone. The crowd loved it, and Magnus felt incredibly connected to his community. Since then, Magnus has been involved in planning four additional World Dance Parties. He is a member of a small volunteer committee that plans World Dance Parties in Southeast Seattle.

Every event has its own personality, its own dance lessons, and its own venue, but they are all based on the same underlying principles: everyone has fun, everyone contributes, and everyone is accepted. These principles have made the World Dance Parties wildly popular. People appreciate the premise and they want more.



Everyone has fun, everyone contributes, and everyone is accepted. Photo courtesy of Jay Chan.

World Dance Parties provide space for people from many different cultures and backgrounds to come together and celebrate. For one night, people put aside worries—they aren't being sold anything; there are no PSAs about amazing nonprofits trying to save the world; and no one asks for a donation. There is simply celebration amongst community.

Neighbors share dishes from cultures all over the world in one of the tastiest potlucks around. Dance instructors teach 20-minute dance lessons, breaking down the steps so that everyone has a chance to participate. People then spend hours dancing with friends, family, strangers, and neighbors.

One of the greatest things about the World Dance Parties is the volunteer committee that plans the event. The committee remains just as diverse as the events themselves and everyone brings something to the table. New members join after every event, much like Magnus. Once people spend the night dancing with their neighbors, they want to get involved. They want to be part of the magic.

The World Dance Parties were formed out of a group of people who attended an Aging Your Way gathering sponsored by Senior Services in June 2010. A small group said they wanted to get to know their neighbors and they wanted to do it through dance. They got together to start planning what the event would look like, brainstormed who should be partners in this project, and then they just did it.

The events have drawn over 700 people of all ages, backgrounds, and cultures to dance together. Some people have said the events are magical and that the group is, in fact, changing the world—one dance party at a time.

To view pictures from the most recent World Dance Party, check out photographer Jay Chan's webpage. The next World Dance Party is scheduled on Friday, June 15, 2012 from 6:00–9:30 p.m. at the Filipino Community Center (5740 Martin Luther King Jr Way S, Seattle). For more information, e-mail worlddanceparty@gmail.com or visit www.worlddancepartyseattle.org.

—Sabrina Jones, Senior Services

World Dance Party celebrates community through dance.
Photo courtesy of Jay Chan.

Every World Dance Party is open to people of all ages.
Photo courtesy of Jay Chan.