Pick up some dance moves at the mall Saturday

Local residents can “get jiggy” on National Dance Day with free dance demonstrations and lessons at the Westfield Trumbull mall.

The event on Saturday, July 27 from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. in the mall’s Lord & Taylor Court is intended to encourage people to become more physically active. It is open to the public.

Get Healthy Connecticut is the sponsor in conjunction with Westfield Trumbull and the Trumbull Monroe Health District (TMHD).

Introductory dance lessons for beginners of all ages will be presented by the Fred Astaire Dance Studio of Trumbull and other local dance schools. The Stratford YMCA will get youngsters ages 4 to 6 moving with "ZumbAtomic," which features high-energy kid-friendly routines.

Dancing is for everyone

"People who are not in the habit of exercising regularly think it will be intimidating, expensive and boring," said Patrice Sulik, a member of Get Healthy Connecticut’s Physical Activity Task Force member and TMHD health director.

"In fact, exercise can be fun, and dancing is the perfect way to get started because anybody can do it — anywhere, any time — and it's fun," Sulik said.

Boost health and combat obesity

Launched in 2010 by "So You Think You Can Dance" co-creator and Dizzy Feet Foundation co-president Nigel Lythgoe, National Dance Day is an annual celebration that takes place on the last Saturday in July.

This grassroots campaign encourages Americans to embrace dance as a fun and positive way to maintain good health and combat obesity.

Dizzy Feet Foundation was founded in 2009 by Lythgoe, Katie Holmes, Carrie Ann Inaba, Adam Shankman and others to support, improve and increase access to dance education in the United States.

The benefits of dancing

Dancing isn't just about the steps and music. It's a perfect combination of physical activity, social interaction and mental stimulation.

According to Get Healthy Connecticut publicity material, dancing can enhance life in many ways:

Health — When you dance, your cardiovascular system improves, your muscle tone increases, and you burn calories. This low-impact aerobic activity also increases flexibility, strength, and balance.

Fun — Dancing is a great way to add excitement to your life. Although learning to dance takes concentration and dedication, it can be a pleasurable experience.

Confidence — Dancers possess an aura of self-confidence and an ability to enjoy themselves more in social situations. When you learn how to dance, your mental outlook can take on a fresh sense of creativity, motivation and energy.

Self-Expression — Dance provides an emotional outlet so you can express your feelings through your body movements with passion and flair.

Relaxation — In today's fast-paced world, dancing provides an enjoyable escape from your normal daily routine, plus a chance to relax, relieve stress and concentrate on yourself.

About Get Healthy Connecticut

Founded in 2010, Get Healthy Connecticut is a coalition of businesses and organizations working to reduce obesity in the greater Bridgeport region. People are encouraged to exercise more and eat better in order to stay healthy and productive.

Learn more at GetHealthyCT.org.

Funding for the coalition is provided through a grant from United Way of Coastal Fairfield County.