National Dance Week Interview

For the past month I’ve been planning the National Dance Week events where I work, The School of Perfroming Arts. Last week I was interviewed by one of the local papers. Check out the artical below!

National Dance Week Encourages Exercise

OK, Naperville, put on your dancing shoes, or sneakers, and lace up for National Dance Week, which is coming to Naperville the week of April 22 through May 1.

Whether you’re a seasoned dancer or love the idea of “movin’ to the groovin,’” The School of Performing Arts in Naperville will kick off National Dance Week with Dancin’ Down the Street. Throughout the week, the 5th Avenue Station school will offer a variety of classes for all levels and ages.

National Dance week started in 1981, when a group of dance-related organizations made it their mission to bring more awareness that dance is an art form and part of American culture. Eventually, the United Dance Merchants of America made a commitment to grow National Dance Week. Since then, dance legends such as Gregory Hines, Paula Abdul, and Chicago’s own dance celebrity Gus Giordano have been spokespersons for the week. Thanks to volunteers, including The School of Performing Arts, the mission of exposing and introducing as many people as possible to the enjoyment and benefits of dance is growing.

“We hold the title of an official 2011 National Dance Week representative,” said Alissa Baird, marketing director of The School of Performing Arts. “We are committed to sharing our love of dance and its benefits to our community, and hope the NDW will soon become a recognized event in Naperville.”

All of the events during NDW at The School of Performing Arts are open to the public. The school will be hosting free dance classes, parent and student enrichment, and community classes, including a Mommy and Me class at Lululemon.

As one who dabbled in choreography years ago, I know dance not only is an art form and form of expression, but it also can be an incredible workout. Look at the health improvements of the contestants on “Dancing with the Stars.” They all talk about the improvements in health and weight since they started dancing. And the best part of dancing? There is no age requirement — it’s an all-inclusive activity. For older adults, dance strengthens the vestibular system, which is responsible for balance and spatial orientation.

“Depending on the style of dance you choose to pursue, you can gain strength, flexibility, and improve your cardiovascular system,” Baird said.

The School of Performing Arts believes anyone and everyone can dance. Even those who haven’t danced since their wedding day might be cajoled into participating. The classes are for all ages and levels, including students with special needs.

“With the growing rate of child obesity, depression and diabetes, dance, when practiced regularly, can curb these conditions,” Baird said. “Dance class is a unique form of exercise, because it raises your heart rate through expressive movement, and it raises endorphins, giving students a feeling of well-being.”

Parents can see changes in their children, too.

“Parents often approach me with gratitude for the impact of dance on their child,” said Sasha Vargas, the school’s dance department director. “From the strength of proper posture to the growth of self-confidence in a doubting child, transformations have been made through dance.”

According to their website, “The School of Performing Arts offers a diverse curriculum, taught by professional artists, which fosters creativity, builds self-esteem and develops students’ lifelong love for the arts.”

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In Celebration of National Dance Week, April 22 through May 1, The School of Performing Arts invites the public to dance down the sidewalks of downtown Naperville on April 23. Interested dancers should meet at 4 p.m. on the west end of 5th Avenue Station, 200E 5th Ave. Shown here is dancer Danielle Fattore. | Photo courtesy of Matt Glavin