Dancing, for many, is an easy start towards a healthier life. Whether it be line dancing, Zumba, or freeform dancing, it’s easy to move to the beat - especially when doing it with friends. Franciscan Alliance had all of that mind - and then some - for their annual Day of Dance. On Sunday at Merrillville’s Radisson Hotel hundreds of women took the chance to dance, get free health screenings, listen to a few seminars, and do a bit of shopping.
In detail, Day of Dance has more to do than one might think. There were eleven free health screenings, fourteen health information tables, nineteen shopping vendors, “Dessert with the Docs” sessions, healthy habit sessions with various Franciscan fitness experts, and a photo booth along with all day dancing in the ballroom. It’s a full gamut of healthy activities for women (and a few men) to take advantage of. Amy Delahunty, Outreach and Wellness Specialist for Franciscan, explained that Day of Dance does what exactly was expected - to bring “inspiring women” and “inspiring health” to their patients.
“This is our fifth Day of Dance that we’ve hosted - and it’s our largest yet with over eight hundred women here today.” Delahunty stated. “It’s really a one stop shop for a day of focusing on your health. We know how busy women are in particular and if we can just get them for a couple hours on a Sunday afternoon by giving them all of these different choices to help make their lives better, it’s helping out them and their families. They also get to meet other women as well, and have a bit of fun while doing so.”
From the very start from the colorful lights of the dance floor, to the health screenings and information sessions, Day of Dance truly gave everything that one might need to put their health on the right track. Tied into a full package, the event brought in women of all ages to spend some time on them by making it fun. Marci Crozier, Mistress of Ceremonies and Administrator of Fitness and Health Promotion at Franciscan Alliance Omni Health, stated that the event is not only for the women who put their health first - but for the ones that put their health after their families. It’s an energetic gathering, and one that lets the women get a bit loose.
“The energy in the ballroom is just incredible - it’s hard to describe unless you’re here. The people put everything aside and they put the stress of everyday life aside to come here and exude positive energy.” Crozier stated. “Today is really a day for women to get together and relieve everyday stress - and I do think that’s the hardest part on your health is the stress - and we get to get together to let it go. We all get fit to the beat of our own drum, but at the end we’re all here with the same mission: to get healthier.”
Not to be lost against the flurry of dancing, the free health screenings were a big draw for women who were looking to truly understand where their health stands. Elena Vasilakis and Deanna Riveron, sisters that came to the Day of Dance together with their family, explained that the screenings were a chance they couldn’t let slip past - it was a time to look at where “their numbers are”.
“The health screenings were what really drew us, and it also gave us some time to have a bit of fun with the ladies. Besides, I think that focusing on preventative health care is extremely important, and not to wait until something irreversible happens to you.” Vasilakis stated. “I’m not afraid to admit that I’m in my 30s, but I got things checked that aren’t recommended until I’m at an older age - like bone density and others. It’s important to start early and continually keep up with where you’re at. Today really starts that trend.”
Day of Dance truly showed the true spirit of women - a spirit that brings women of all ages together for something good, and something that betters themselves. The event keeps growing each and every year, and it’s easy to see why it’s a hit. Next year there will be more dancing, eating, shopping, and Franciscan representatives looking out for their community - but 2016’s Day of Dance will be an event that many can’t wait to see come around once again.