Eleanor Holmes Norton, Dancing Queen

Eleanor Holmes Norton has long been an icon in the District and beyond. She became a civil rights activist when young, and furthered her work for equality as the assistant legal director of the ACLU in the late 1960’s. She was the first female Chair of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and wrote the first regulations on sexual harassment in the workplace. She’s been the D.C. Representative to Congress since 1991, fighting hard for civil rights, equality, and funding and programs benefiting District residents.

Rep. Norton speaking about LGBTQ employment rights, 10/8/19

But did you know she can dance?

Not only does she dance, but she’s the sponsor of National Dance Day, now in its 10th year. Here she is at the Kennedy Center a couple of weeks ago, dancing on to the stage to start off the festivities.

National Dance Day was co-founded by Nigel Lithgow (the co-creator of So You Think You Can Dance) and Eleanor Holmes Norton, who has sponsored the resolution each year for Congressional approval.

She says that dancing “is as infectious as it is spectacular,” and when you see her at all sorts of events around D.C., you can see the energy she brings even when she is not dancing.

Here’s a short clip of her dancing on the Mall at the first National Dance Day when it started 10 years ago:

Oh, and by the way, she’s 82, definitely proof that dance keeps you young.

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