Sneak Preview: Dance Out Diabetes!

Put your hands up! Who likes to dance?

Since Dance Out Diabetes is a brand new 501c non-profit organization intended to help prevent and manage diabetes during local dance events.   Starting out in San Francisco, and shortly to expand nationally, the concept is to invite people with diabetes and at-risk for it, along with their loved ones and friends, to regular dance afternoons — “shake your bon-bon into different kinds of songs” — complete with “a small instruction and support, and a lot of fun.”

Dance Out Diabetes (or DOD — not to be mistaken with the Dept. of Defense) will be launched this year on World Diabetes Day, November 14, 2010, in the middle in San Francisco, together with subsequent events scheduled across town on the 2nd Sunday of each month from 1-4 pm. Soon thereafter, DOD intends to establish online component encouraging similar DOD “dance-outs” all over the country.

The website is not live yet, but it is possible to see them on Facebook

Each session will include a dancing instructor skilled in a different genre of music, so people are going to have the chance to “free dancing to a lot of different varieties of music, irrespective of their ability.” Private health metrics will also be measured at each event, with CDEs on hand to give individuals professional opinions. The CDEs will also answer questions and be at the ready to assist in the event of a very low blood glucose.

And needless to say, there will be food. “We will offer nutritional tips dependent on the dance instructor’s musical focus. By way of instance, once the instructor does a Zumba lesson, we might have a handout on how to eat Mexican Food without sending your glucose to the Moon,” states Theresa Garnero, the San Francisco-based ueber-CDE who’s founded DOD.

Cost to the general public, btw, will be decided on a sliding scale – $10 general adult admission; $5 for participants who have economic challenges (reveal your Medicare Card or EBT food stamp card to qualify); $3 for kids ages 7-18; and free for kids under 7. All ages and comparative dance abilities are welcome!

Garnero is a preeminent authority on diabetes in addition to a profilic diabetes cartoonist, former jazz pianist and also a nationwide optimistic figure skater. I kid you not. She’s a very energetic woman who knows the way to inject some fun into even the most frustrating disease state (!) Her approach to diabetes education always includes humor, because “laughing improves glucose control, except when eating french fries…,” she states.

“We’re aiming to offer a location where people can dance and go in an excellent, diabetes-friendly atmosphere. The goal is to get folks moving in a way and place they like. When you take a look at what’s missing (in diabetes care), it is exercise. Why? Because it is drudgery and there’s not enough time. We want to make dance halls for all ages, kids to adults, in which the music varies periodically,” Garnero states.

DOD’s is Theresa’s vision, over a couple of years in the making.   She’s now accumulated an impressive panel of health care professionals and individual supporters to help out with DOD. Some names you might recognize are Sheri Colberg-Ochs, expert author on diabetes & Exercise; Dawn Swidorski of the Defeat Diabetes Foundation; and Jennifer Dorn of aDorn Designs.

I spoke with Morning Swidorski on the phone the other day to explain a few items:

What will the internet component look like?

“We’d like to add a social networking element, with downloadable playlists and movies, either streaming or podcast, so people can dance along. We’re looking at potential collaboration with organizations that offer online dance movie.   We’re also busy identifying like-minded dancing organizations here from the Bay Area to help us incorporate unique styles, different kinds of dance”

So you’re not stressed this will become a senior program just? How are you going to attract younger folks?

“We were really encouraged by a recent JDRF fundraising event we attended called Thriving 2010! It was hosted by former prima ballerina Zippora Karz. It had been dance-focused, attended largely young people, type 1’s, and they were actually getting into it.”

Will there be some kind of a dance contest component?

“One thing I need to do is a movie dancing contest where folks will upload videos of themselves doing their thing. One thing that’s pretty sure is that we will host a marathon marathon shortly as fundraising event — you know, the conservative who can last longest? Like the in film, They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? Just not that extreme chuckles”

“Well, we are not sure. You maybe can’t get into heavy handed stuff because you need a partner. Not sure how that is going to pan out. Def encouraging fam to come, fantastic opp for families to come together & learn more about living healthy”

“We’re working out the kinks. We really need all your help in figuring out the best way to structure it : Do people mostly need free dancing or dance instruction? Please give us feedback by completing their quick online survey here.

So have you got a motto of somesort?

“Diabetes can be quite gloomy occasionally… dance makes everybody feel better”

If you’re interested in volunteering, fundraising, making a tax deductible donation, or otherwise getting involved, contact Theresa Garnero in (Oh, and vendors are invited to sponsor exhibit booths at the kick-off event).

Be here for World Diabetes Day 2010? Then I will see ya on the dance floor!

Disclaimer: Content created by the Diabetes Mine team. For more details click here.


This content is created for Diabetes Mine, a customer health blog concentrated on the diabetes community. The content is not medically reviewed and does not stick to Healthline’s editorial guidelines. To learn more regarding Healthline’s venture with Diabetes Mine, please click here.

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