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Opening Doors for Children & Families

Dance Party Friday

When I was younger my Mom used to break into spontaneous dance in the kitchen. Not wild club dancing, but she would grab you when you were walking by her and bust into a two-step, music playing or not. The gene must have been passed on to one of my nephews. When you are sitting around in their house he will spontaneously jump up from whatever he is doing and yell "DANCE PARTY!" Then he runs to the stereo, turns it to his favourite song at the time, and makes everyone in the house join in the dance party. No one is safe, including Grandpa, everyone HAS to dance.

I started making annual dance party soundtracks for my nephews. At first I threw whatever was on my personal iTunes onto the soundtracks but after my nephew walked into his parents bedroom in the middle of the night and sang "I got a red bull and vodka up in my hand..." Auntie got in a bit of trouble and had to be much more selective with the music. Some of the hits that remain among the favourites for dance parties: That's Not My Name by The Ting Tings and Blue by Eiffel 65.

Apparently this family dance party craze is an international event. Here is a photo of my friends from Australia and the origins of their family dance parties...

It is also a classroom craze. At times you can walk into ABC Head Start Classrooms mid dance party and feel the incredible joy and energy as the children and teachers alike bust a move. Dancing is said to reduce stress and depression, increase energy and serotonin. It improves flexibility, strength, balance and endurance. It strengthens bones and boosts cardiovascular health. It increase mental capacity by exercising our cognitive processes. And most of all it's FUN!

It is no wonder that most of the ABC Head Start classrooms have dance parties. One in particular has one every Friday and they have named it the Dora Dance Party. I think we should all adopt Dance Party Friday! Every home, every office, maybe in your car (but no distracted driving people!) Or maybe fill a gym and have a dance party. That's what this brilliant Calgary singer/songwriter, Michael Bernard Fitzgerald did. So now, stand up, push play, and dance along.

At ABC Head Start we believe the best way to help children is to strengthen families and community. As we work together in partnership we benefit from the shared enthusiasm, energy and ideas that each partner contributes. Community support ensures the continued success and sustainability of ABC Head Start. Every year volunteers donate thousands of hours of time in classroom and non-classroom activities. Find out how you can get involved today!



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