Get people dancing
If a middle school student at Mingo County’s Lenore K-8 School has behaved well in class all week, he or she gets to dance or play ball Friday afternoon. Dancing and physical activity are weekly, popular rewards at that school. Imagine that!
Kids line up on the stage and rock out for 90 minutes, with a teacher who teaches them a wide variety of old and new dances.
At Calhoun County’s Heartwood in the Hills, rural children and teenagers learn a variety of dancing styles and perform regularly for the community.
There are zumba classes all over West Virginia now, in almost every small town.
Dancing doesn’t cost much. Dancing is fun. Dancing can be aerobic.
There are square dancing groups in many counties. Long schedules of square dances can be found on the Internet.
People dance at clubs at night. Ballroom dancing and line dancing happen at some Senior centers and commercial studios.
Beyond zumba, how often do we think of dancing as a fitness tool? Why not stir it up in your community?
The Winfield High School dance team, athletes themselves, performing at halftime of a basketball game.
Want to stir up more dancing and zumba in your community?
If you need a place to hold dances or dancing classes, consider a shared use agreement with a school or other public building.
Square dancing and contra dancing have the most statewide resources:
- The WV square dance organization Web site has a list of WV square dance clubs: http://www.wvsquaredance.org
- Here’s a list of WV contra dances and square dances. http://www.contradancelinks.com/schedule_WV.html
- If you need a square dance caller, venues, organizations, etc., here’s a helpful list: http://www.ceder.net/resources/view.php4?StateId=48
- Make a traveling dance schedule with other communities. Here’s The Mountain Dance Trail, organized by the Augusta Heritage Center: http://mountaindancetrail.org. And here’s a New York Times article about the Mountain Dance Trail: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/01/us/a-west-virginia-town-rediscovers-square-dancing.html?_r=0
Dancing for Kids
- Use dancing as a reward for good behavior in school: See story about Mingo County’s Lenore School: http://www.wvgazette.com/News/theshapewerein/201302240104
- Create a community dance/movement school: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Heartwood-in-the-Hills/170622062621
- Weave dancing into your summer camp or afterschool program.
- Dance Dance Revolution (DDR) was put into every West Virginia school several years back. This program and similar programs that require the child to move with the program are great ways to channel a child’s preoccupation with video games into healthy movement. Read what the New York Times said about West Virginia and DDR: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/30/health/30exer.html?_r=0
- Start a dance troop at middle or high school levels. See above video of the Winfield High School dance troop performing at halftime at games.
- Make a dance video: Mingo County summer campers sing and dance W.Va. history with ‘WV Mambo’
Here’s a link to the demo of the WV Mambo, an original dance created and played by The Carpenter Ants. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AEklY0VX1wE
- To find a zumba class, type zumba and your community name into a search engine. If there’s not one near you, put an ad in the paper, asking if somebody wants to teach.
- Try West Virginia Dance, Inc. at http://www.wvdance.net/placestodanceinwv.htm for a listing of ballroom dancing classes. If you’d like it in your community, consider getting a space – perhaps through a shared use agreement – then finding a teacher and getting people to sign up.
Publicize existing dance opportunities in your community. It’s one more reason to have a recreation page on your community Web site.