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Day of Dance: One NIGHT to Remember!

Posted May 02 2013 6:00am

On April 11, 2013, Northwest Hospital hosted its first Spirit of Women event of the year – Day of Dance!  This was an educational event to promote heart health through dance and movement, and Northwest absolutely delivered! Over 300 women from our community participated in Day of Dance, making it Northwest Hospital’s largest free community event in its history.

DOD11

Northwest Hospital president Brian White welcomes the attendees.

The evening was packed with fun, excitement, heart health information and lots of dancing. Brian White, Northwest Hospital president, welcomed everyone to our beautiful campus and introduced me, health coach and Day of Dance emcee.

Then the party got started! The Heartbeat Dancers of Northwest and I energized the crowd, and then I introduced our Day of Dance featured performer: Ubaka Hill. Ubaka is an international djembe drum artist who creatively weaves percussion, poetry and song to inspire a positive, energetic atmosphere for diverse audiences to sing and dance with her. She really got the crowd going. Soon afterward, Georgia Boy Dance and Circle of Friends featuring Cedric Teamer, Sean Climer and Wendy Chetney wowed the crowd. These professional dancers showed us how the pros do it – with style, grace and ease.

The music kept coming and the dancing continued both inside Northwest Hospital and in our huge tent located just outside the main hospital. Donna Wise & the Union Crew Line Dancers of Randallstown showed us all how to line dance. Various fun, dance-inspired fitness demonstrations were offered, including Jazzercise with Rene Loeb of Columbia, Zumba with Maisha McCoy of Randallstown, Yoga with Tammie Zeilinger from LifeBridge Health and Fitness , and Northwest Hospital’s own Mary Maslow, a cardiac rehabilitation fitness specialist who showed us the “Basic 6” exercises to live by. I was struck by the beautiful sight, watching so many women dancing, smiling and tapping their feet to the music and knowing that the event was encouraging them to use dance and movement to improve their heart health.

Though we were all having a blast, there was also some serious health education was mixed in. Cardiologist Jonathan Rogers, M.D. , and I spoke throughout the evening specifically about heart health.  Dr. Rogers spoke about the different signs and symptoms of a heart attack that women have compared to men, and the importance of knowing and paying attention to these unique signs. I shared that when it comes to your heart, lifestyle choices, stress, food and exercise all matter.

The Day of Dance event sponsored by Spirit of Women was a fabulous evening!

Thankfully, the food at the event (it was quite a spread!) was delicious and heart healthy.

One of the highlights for me was performing with the Heartbeat Dancers of Northwest. This group of fabulous female Northwest Hospital employees learned the “Know Your Signs [of a Heart Attack]” dance and performed it several times throughout the evening. Our performances were a huge hit, and now, many women are going around town singing, “Pain in your neck, chest, arms or jaw / shortness of breath, please tell us more” as hip hop music plays in their minds! These ladies will never forget the signs of a heart attack.

A special passport that served as a raffle entry encouraged the participants to visit health information booths addressing heart health, fitness, stroke awareness, sleep health, diabetes, nutrition, weight loss surgery, breast care and more. After completing the passport and receiving a raffle ticket, attendees were encouraged to put their ticket in the bowl for the corresponding prize they wanted to win most. Awarded raffle gifts for the heart included a 5k training program donated by Fleet Feet in Pikesville; a signature facial from Tamera Monroe; a lovely basket of high quality dark chocolates for the mouth and skin from Cindy Wolfe, RN; red accessories from the Northwest Hospital gift shop; three-month and a one-year memberships to LifeBridge Health and Fitness; and a Spirit of Women goodie bag filled with amazing gifts and a $50 gift card.

I wanted the women to learn about heart health, to see our beautiful hospital, have a wonderful time and know that Northwest Hospital is here and cares about the health and well-being of the women in its community. I say the evening was a great success and our mission was accomplished!

- Written by Victoria Proctor, M.A., RN, a health coach who oversees Spirit of Women at Northwest Hospital. She is a Master’s prepared exercise physiologist, registered nurse and certified holistic health counselor. Victoria loves advocating for women, encouraging them to live healthy, energized and passionate lives.

To schedule an appointment with one of our highly trained physicians and find out why LifeBridge Health is Baltimore's premiere health care organization, call 410-601-WELL.

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