T2 Dance Crew: Dance For Diabetes Awareness

Wear your dancing shoes, Diabetes Community!

There’s a federal education and health campaign aimed at bringing your booty to move.

The big message behind it is that a small dance can go a long way toward improving your health with diabetes.

The program, called T2 Dance Crew, was started in the end of April by Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a division of their JnJ family. Big names on the other side of the campaign are Debbie Allen producer and choreographer of the favorite reality show So you believe You Can Dance (which actually returns for the 11th season tonight!) ; hip-hop founder Du-Shaunt “Fik-Shun” Stegall; and salsa-specialist Janette Manrara from previous seasons of the series. The campaign incorporates instructional dance videos in the dance stars in the Spanish and English, together with educational resources and perhaps even in-person events where PWDs can find some in-person information and dancing fun in their local communities.

Mostly focused on type 2 diabetes, this particular campaign is personal for Allen, who says her daddy’s side of the family was struck hard with T2. Her father struggled with his diabetes, she says, and even though he attempted to make any lifestyle changes, the one thing she would never get him to do was exercise more. Allen’s father died at 63 as a consequence of diabetes complications, and she wishes he could have been encouraged to weave dance into his world to help manage his glucose levels and stay healthy.

That’s the whole point of this campaign.

“They initiated this and that I jumped in because this is such an important issue,” Allen told me by telephone lately. “I have approached to do a lot of them (promotional campaigns), and a lot of them do not ring true and seem fair, things I can not be enthused about and really get behind, so that I turn them down. But this one really spoke to me.”

But this effort feels a bit different — because it appears to cross the boundaries between forms of diabetes, and weaves from the Diabetes Online Community (DOC) in a way that appears new and distinctive. The main online hub for T2 Dance Crew is an present online patient-populated network, DiabeticConnect (component of the ‘Mine’s former parent company Alliance Health Networks) and there you can locate the dance movies, a list of all the upcoming local in-person dance events, along with a Q&A conducted by Diabetes Hands Foundation creator Manny Hernandez with Dr. Richard Aguilar, medical director of non-profit Diabetes Nation, a program aimed fostering cooperation among diabetes doctors to encourage healthcare.

Debbie Allen tells us that the response’s been great up to now; she noticed that in just over three weeks, the T2 Dance Crew website at Diabetic Link hit over 700,000 pageviews. And she is often getting stopped out on the street by people speaking about how they’re dancing up it to help manage their diabetes while getting healthy and using sDebbie Allenome fun.

“That’s what we’re taking a look at doing — blending those two together,” she says. “This is generating a lot of energy and we are entering the viewer that we want to get to.”

“It is exciting to watch our ‘dance for the health of it’ efforts grow together with the T2 Dance Crew program now reaching out to other communities. The advantage is in assisting to engage and inspire others to use the most underutilized method to manage this disorder: physical action! Besides, dancing to good music is a nice way to have in exercise using a side impact of fun.”

Theresa tells us in the American Diabetes Association’s Scientific Sessions coming up from San Francisco the second week of June, she will Offer an update on her Dance Outside Diabetes program during a T2 Dance Crew day event on June 15.

There are also a small number of neighborhood T2 Dance Crew events planned around the nation where you can get beginner courses on salsa and hip-hop dancing together with on-site health clinic monitoring by CDEs and instructional resources to manage your diabetes. As of now, there’s a course set for Miami on June 7, New York City on July 19, along with a yet-to-be-scheduled event coming shortly in Houston.

Allen says smaller in-person dance events are also being educated in areas where she is traveling, such as for appearances on her premiering production of (a new dance adaptation of the timeless Brother’s Grimm narrative, The Twelve Dancing Princesses). The hope would be to expand these T2 Dance Crew events to areas like Boston, Washington D.C., Philadelphia, Los Angeles, and Charlotte as soon as possible.

Along with the TV celebrity and dance queen says it’s definitely on her head to converse with the So you believe You Can Dance series decision-makers about perhaps plugging the T2 Dance Crew campaign or perhaps D-awareness to the series, which may be an incredible way to reach millions of individuals who tune in to that show weekly.

And rest assured: there’s strong science is supporting this D-dancing movement. According to research, the ADA recommends 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity five or more days each week, and a research by Theresa Garnero that assessed PWDs involved in a monthly cultural dance program found that most participants who kept their dance regime reduced or maintained body weight, blood pressure and A1C.

“That is an evolving campaign, so who knows what we may get?” Allen said, adding that even more celebrity dance stars could come on board in the future. “We shouldn’t be static — that the entire world is constantly shifting, so being in motion is the way we will need to be. This can be a natural procedure.”

We could not agree more, and think this T2 Dance Crew — even though the title focusing on type 2 — has the potential to increase public awareness about diabetes in general, and encourage both adults and kids to add more activity in their everyday routines.

It just seems like a positive pressure, also appears to have good synergy with DOC-led efforts like the Big Blue Test each dip, when our Diabetes Online Community lights up in support of physical activity as a way to improve our own health and impact change and public consciousness. In addition to the theme for World Diabetes Day 2014 is all about making cities healthier, so a dance-related initiative in neighborhood settings could be an ideal way to drive that house. Just imagine: dance flash mobs weaving WDD and dance into one cool D-meetup!

I am no expert dancer myself (though years back we took some entrance ballroom dancing lessons for our wedding), however I am not opposed to doing a little amateur booty-moving through the afternoon at home (when no one’s watching), as who knows…?   A little shaking and moving could work amazing things for my own blood sugar levels, I am sure!

Disclaimer: Content created by the Diabetes Mine team. For additional information click here.

Disclaimer

This content is made for Diabetes Mine, a customer health blog concentrated on the diabetes community. The content isn’t medically reviewed and doesn’t stick to Healthline’s editorial instructions. For more information regarding Healthline’s venture with Diabetes Mine, please click here.

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