Mountain View, CA - February 27, 2010 - The scene looked like a "Dancing with the Stars" audition. A crowd of more than 1,000 mostly women, came to the Santa Clara Convention Center on Saturday, February 27, 2010 to try out dance moves ranging from "country" line-dancing to Bollywood, as well as get free health assessments and advice about their cardiovascular fitness. What no one expected was just how much fun it would be.
"You come to a 'health fair' expecting it to be educational and motivational, but who knew it could be so much fun?" said Daphne Luong, a Los Altos resident. "I had such a great time that I'm ready to sign up for dance classes!"
The event was part of the national Spirit of Women Day of Dance for Health, hosted by 68 hospitals nationwide, including The Women's Hospital at El Camino Hospital. It was sponsored locally by KGO NewsTalk Radio, Silicon Valley Community Newspapers, Home Instead Senior Care, El Camino Hospital Foundation and its Hope to Health women's group.
Day of Dance combined no-charge health screenings and health education with a fun-filled program of dance and exercise demonstrations that included yoga, Pilates and cardio-kickboxing. All were aimed at promoting cardiovascular fitness by showing that it doesn't need to be drudgery to be effective.
Local civic leaders turned out in force to show their support, including Saratoga Mayor Kathleen King, Cupertino Mayor Kris Wang and former Mayor Dolly Sandoval, Los Altos Hills Councilmember Ginger Summit, former Mountain View Mayor Margaret Abe-Koga, and Santa Clara County District Attorney Dolores Carr.
Celebrity fitness trainer Joanie Greggains started the event with a group warm-up and stretch to music. "Dancing with the Stars" Cheryl Burke's Dance Studio in Mountain View performed several dances, as did Bolly2B Fit Dance Troupe of San Jose, the Palo Alto High School Bhangra Club, PB & G Dance Productions of Campbell, Dance Boulevard and the Addison-Penzak Jewish Community Center and Youth Dance at El Camino YMCA, among others. There even was a fitness fashion show, with clothes provided by Athletic Performance of Los Gatos, Fleet Feet of Menlo Park, Studio Kicks of Palo Alto and Time Out Clothing of Los Gatos. The Zumba demonstration by Los Gatos Fitness was one of the biggest hits of the day and had hundreds hitting the dance floor.
While the demos took place, there were informative health talks by local cardiologists César Molina, Neal Scott, Catherine Collings and Jane Lombard. Participants also could take advantage of eight free health screenings including glucose, cholesterol, Body Mass Index (BMI), waist circumference, blood pressure, heart rate, a vein screening and foot screening. Well over 800 screenings were completed during the event, and participants had the opportunity to get an on-the-spot individual assessment from a physician afterward.
"This was our first time hosting Day of Dance as part of the Spirit of Women Hospital Network," said Michele van Zuiden, Executive Director of the Women's Hospital at El Camino Hospital. "We were delighted at the attendance. It's wonderful to be able to reach so many with the message that getting in shape really can be fun. We hope that this event will jump-start plenty of people who have been putting off getting into a regular exercise program. Aside from all the health benefits, it just plain makes you feel good."
Nationally, the 2010 Day of Dance for Health was presented by the Spirit of Women Health Network, Good Housekeeping magazine and The Heart Truth® campaign.