National Dance Day
So, you think you can dance? This Saturday you can show off your skills, when the Kennedy Center joins with the Dizzy Feet Foundation — founded by “So You Think You Can Dance” producer Nigel Lythgoe to support dance education in the United States — to host a full day of free dance lessons and performances. Try a Hip Hop Master Class or, if you’ve got two left feet, “So You Think You Can Dance” judge Adam Shankman has choreographed a dance for all levels that you can preview on the foundation’s YouTube channel. Throughout the day, enjoy performances of all dance genres — hip hop, modern, house, ballet, Broadway, jazz and Bollywood, to name a few — followed by a dance party under the stars. Saturday at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F St. NW. 800/444-1324. Web: kennedy-center.org.
If you didn’t make it to Wimbledon earlier this month, you have a chance to see dozens of top-ranked tennis players hit the courts in Washington this week during the Citi Open. The tournament has been played, under varying names, in the area since 1969. This year’s players include 17 of the top 50 men and 11 of the top 50 women pros. Among those competing for a combined $1.8 million in prize money are 2009 U.S. Open champ Juan Martin del Potro, top-ranked American John Isner and 20-year-old phenom Sloane Stephens, who earlier this year upset Serena Williams to reach the semifinals of the Australian Open. The tournament begins Saturday with a day full of tennis clinics, family activities and local athletes. On Sunday, the tournament will recognize active-duty military, veterans, first-responders and their families with discounted tickets, and on Tuesday, Corona Extra will sponsor a tailgate party with tailgate games, DJs and more. Through Aug. 4 at the William H.G. FitzGerald Tennis Center at Rock Creek Park, 16th and Kennedy streets Northwest. 202/721-9500. Web: citiopentennis.com.
SyFy recently premiered an original, made-for-television movie “Sharknado,” which instantly, and inexplicably, became a cult favorite among Washington’s Twitterati. Starring Ian Ziering (“Beverly Hills, 90210”) and Tara Reid (“American Pie”), the film chronicled a devastating Pacific Ocean storm that flung man-eating sharks out of the ocean into a partly flooded, terrorized Los Angeles. While sharks are unlikely to fall from the skies anytime soon (we hope!), the animals have been in our oceans for millions of years yet remain misunderstood and feared. This weekend, the National Aquarium invites you to get up close and personal with the sharp-toothed sea creatures with live feedings of multiple species of the fish as well as shark-themed exhibits, a scavenger hunt, face painting and more. You’ll also have the chance to see the aquarium’s 1,500 other sea animals — if they don’t get chomped first. Saturday and Sunday at the National Aquarium, 1401 Constitution Ave. NW. 202/482-2825. Web: aqua.org.
New Order with Holy Ghost and Whitney Fierce
With that oppressive heat wave now behind us, it’s a perfect weekend for some New Wave outdoors with some of the genre’s pioneers. In 1976, British electronic musician Ian Curtis formed Joy Division, a cult-favorite post-punk music group with hits including “Love Will Tear Us Apart,” “She’s Lost Control” and “Disorder.” After he committed suicide at 23 during the height of the group’s fame, the three remaining members Bernard Sumner, Peter Hook and Stephen Morris, with some others, continued to perform under the name New Order. They released their first song “Ceremony” in 1981, and other hits including “Blue Monday,” “The Perfect Kiss” and “Bizarre Love Triangle” followed, making them one of the most influential groups of the 1980s. After performing in Hyde Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics closing ceremony, New Order is now on tour and stops in the Washington area Sunday. Holy Ghost, an electronic dance duo from Brooklyn, N.Y., and DJ Whitney Fierce will open the show. Sunday at Merriweather Post Pavilion, 10475 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia, Md. 877/435-9849. Web: merriweathermusic.com.
Whatever genre of music makes your iPod’s most-played list, there’s no doubt you have a song or two featuring Natalie Cole’s “unforgettable” vocals. The daughter of jazz legend Nat King Cole, Miss Cole has sold 30 million records and won nine Grammy Awards for her music that spans pop, R&B, jazz and the American Songbook’s classics. On Thursday, she’ll be at the Music Center at Strathmore to perform a mix of her biggest hits including “Unforgettable,” “This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)” and “Our Love,” as well as songs from her newest album, “Natalie Cole En Espanol.” Arrive at 6:30 p.m. for a pre-concert lecture, “Like Father/Like Daughter: The Impact of Nat King Cole and Natalie Cole on American Popular Music,” with Howard University jazz history professor Sais Kamalidiin, free for concert ticket holders. Thursday at the Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, 301/581-5100. Web: strathmore.org.