FAMU Hosts “Day of Dance”

If you have ever wanted to learn how to belly dance, do the salsa or learn Caribbean dance, the Grand Ballroom is the place to be.

In conjunction with National Women’s Health and Fitness Day, the first national Day of Dance will be held today from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Presented by FAMU’s Center for Equity and Cultural Diversity, the FAMU Department of Campus Recreation and Tallahassee Memorial Health care, more than 500 local and county residents are expected to participate.

“October is known as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and we wanted to highlight other health issues women face,” said Carrie Farela, the Women’s Health and Fitness Day program coordinator.

The event will bring together women of all ages and backgrounds for a day of dancing and health awareness.

“The purpose of the event is to help spread the idea that heart disease is preventable and it is the number one killer of women in this country,” said Amy McDaniel, the director of TMH’s Women Pavilion.

“In every culture, women dance. It comes naturally. That’s why we choose to use the “Day of Dance” to bring more awareness to heart disease in women,” said Buenita Lee, event coordinator for The Center for Equity and Cultural Diversity.

“Most women are caregivers. But, we never take on keeping our own health up,” Lee said. “We will brush off things like neck and back pain in a heartbeat. But, neck and upper back pain can be symptoms of heart disease.”

Nancy Redig and In Step Dance Studio, Fred Astaire Dance Studio, Club Atlantis and the FAMU Caribbean Student Association will be on hand throughout the day giving dance demonstrations.

“It doesn’t matter how you dance or how long you dance, as long as you’re getting your heart rate up,” Lee said.

There will be yoga and pilates demonstrations. Free screenings for sickle cell anemia, HIV/AIDS, cholesterol and blood pressure will be available. Giveaways and gift bags which include passes to Women’s World Fitness Center and gift certificates to local spas and salons will also be given to those who register at the door.

Orchesis Contemporary Dance Theatre will perform for the event.

“It’s a wonderful event. It promotes dance as an art form and a wonderful physical activity that balances a person physically, emotionally and spiritually,” said Joan Burroughs, the director of Orchesis Contemporary Dance Theater.

Yolanda Boronell, the director of the Center for Equity and Cultural Diversity urges everyone to participate in the day’s activities.

“Fifty-nine percent of the student population and 53 percent of the faculty and staff at FAMU are women,” said Boronell. “We invite all men and women of FAMU to visit and utilize the free screening being offer by the event. Helping the women of FAMU and the community become more aware of heart disease is a privilege.”