By Rob Cox For the Rushville Republican
---- — GREENSBURG — Registered nurse Annie Wilkison, coordinator of Decatur County Memorial Hospital’s (DCMH) Spirit of Women (SOW) chapter, has decided against hosting a “featured performer” for the group’s 2014 Day of Dance, Feb. 22.
The 2013 Day of Dance featured circus performers, while Chinese acrobats performed in 2012. Going back a bit further, the event has also featured exhibitions by the Indianapolis Colts Cheerleaders and the Indy Air Bears Jump Rope Team.
While Wilkison doesn’t necessarily view featured performers as a negative, in planning the annual event for 2014, she decided to forgo a headliner. In so doing, she hopes to return Day of Dance to the concept behind its original creation: “Get Up and Move.”
It’s no coincidence that Day of Dance is held during “American Heart Month,” which was first established by the US Congress in 1963 and first observed in February 1964. It’s also no coincidence that the SOW Heart Caring division plays a significant role in Day of Dance.
Day of Dance is a nationwide event, Wilkison explained, first held in 2005 by the national Spirit of Women organization. Based on the most recent numbers available at the group’s website (http://bit.ly/LSsRmq), in 2011, 75 hospitals hosted Day of Dance events, with more than 70,000 people participating.
Attendees benefit from a wide range of medical screenings and education available at Day of Dance; they also benefit from participating in heart-healthy activities.
Featured performers, Wilkison explained, are certainly entertaining, but they don’t encourage the type of physical participation Day of Dance is designed to encourage. Instead, at previous Day of Dance events, attendees might only watch the featured performer without sampling the Zumbathon, the indoor cycling exhibition, the Pilates demonstration or any of the other activities always available each year.
Although plenty of Day of Dance attendees always DO take part in the physical activities, Wilkison hopes to encourage even more participation.
“By not hosting a featured performer,” she said, “we’re giving more people the opportunity to participate. We’re offering three times more demonstrations this year [compared to previous years].”
The 2014 DCMH SOW Day of Dance exhibitions will include strength, endurance and cardiovascular training, cycling, Zumba, Yoga, Pilates, Swing Dancing, basketball, soccer, tee-ball and Jujitsu – among others. Activities that involve dancing will feature Merengue, Salsa, Cha Cha, Cumbia, Swing, Rock & Roll, Belly Dance, Flamenco, Tango, Indian and Calypso-style music.
This year’s Day of Dance will be held at the Decatur County Family YMCA, too, allowing for a host of swimming and water-centric activities, including swimming lessons, water exercise, aqua bootcamp, water jogging, aqua arthritis and others.
Wilkison stressed that day’s activities are being designed with a wide-range of age groups in mind. “Day of Dance is extremely family friendly,” she said, adding that activities will be available for infants, seniors and every age group in between. Men and women, boys and girls alike, she added, are also invited.
A number of no-cost health screenings will also be available during the 2014 Day of Dance, including screenings for blood-pressure, body mass index, neuropathy, blood sugar and others. The first 400 attendees will receive a free boxed lunch, Wilkison added, with door prizes and various giveaways also being given away.
“There really will be something at this year’s Day of Dance for everyone to participate in,” she said.
Wilkison has a longstanding relationship with the YMCA and added that holding an expanded Day of Dance there seemed like a no-brainer.
The YMCA facility allows SOW to serve both its members and the wider community, Wilkison said, by introducing attendees to programs, classes, facilities and equipment available at the YMCA. In so doing, Wilkison hopes Day of Dance attendees will explore the Y further.
The 2014 DCMH Spirit of Women Day of Dance will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Feb. 22, at the Decatur County Family YMCA. located at 1301 Kathy's Way, Greensburg. For more information, call SOW at 812-663-1325 or 812-663-1389 or the YMCA at 812-663-9622.
Contact: Rob Cox 812-663-3111 x7011; firstname.lastname@example.org