Dork Dancing Encourages Everyone to Dance for Their Mental Health—Regardless of Skill Level

May 31, 2022

Dork Dancing isn’t technical. It isn’t classical. But it’s freeing. Founded by Ethan Levy, Dork Dancing aims to advocate for mental health, help participants overcome challenges such as depression and anxiety, and introduce more people to the joy of dancing. “Dork has lowered the barriers of entry for dance,” Levy says. “A lot of people can identify with this feeling or idea of ‘dork,’ so it includes a lot of people who may believe they can’t dance.”

How does one Dork Dance? Simply put, start moving however you want and embrace your inner dork.

A tight cluster of people dance together with and around a woman in a wheelchair.
Photo courtesy Levy.

Levy, who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, had started dancing around his apartment with his roommate back in 2016. In the early stages of the pandemic, recalling how it made him feel better, Levy began dancing in the streets of Da Nang, Vietnam, and inviting others to join him. Dork Dancing has since grown into a community of 1,000-plus people, and Levy has plans to expand it to Denver, where he is now based. The organization’s website invites anyone anywhere to contact him about starting chapters in their own cities, and to join a weekly online dance session. 

It isn’t just for novice dancers: “Even if you’re a good dancer, you can still Dork Dance, and it’s a way to connect with others who aren’t in the dance community,” Levy says.

“People get to embark on a powerful journey and grow in their own comfort of expressing themselves. The thing that it most powerfully supports is countering the loneliness epidemic.” Ethan Levy