Local folks get into the groove on National Dance Day

July 31, 2011|By JULIE E. GREENE |
  • South Pointe Fitness Zumba instructors Anita Binder, left, and Nichole Tarkanick lead a Zumba dance demonstration Sunday at Rockland Woods Elementary School in Hagerstown as part of National Dance Day.
By Joe Crocetta/Staff Photographer

Feet were moving. Hips were swaying. Arms were waving.

A sole fan in the corner of Rockland Woods Elementary School’s gym failed to move the stale air much on Sunday afternoon, but that didn’t stop dozens of people from dancing the day away.

Zumba, ballet, belly dancing and Native American dance were all part of Washington County Recreation Department’s National Dance Day event, during which people were encouraged to get off the sidelines and dance.

According to a flier from the recreation department, the federal government issued a proclamation last year proclaiming July 31 to be National Dance Day.

Pat Bailey, 60, of Funkstown, rarely took a break as she participated in several dance sessions, including Zumba, which is a dance-fitness program to Latin-style music.

“It’s hot,” said Bailey, whose shirt was soaked in sweat.

Bailey came to the event with her granddaughter, Hailey Lewis, 7, of Clear Spring, and Hailey’s friend, Chloe Saunders, 7, of Clear Spring.

“I like it because it’s good exercise,” said Bailey, who takes a Zumba class at Pangborn Elementary.

“It’s funny sometimes. ... Because she dances all around,” Hailey said.

Mindy Wade, 39, of Hagerstown, brought her daughters Emma, 8, and Madison, 5.

Asked what they would normally be doing on a Sunday afternoon, Emma said, “probably swimming.”

Earlier in the day, the family took a seven-mile bike ride, the longest yet for Madison, Mindy Wade said.

“I think it’s great. Great to see the different options out there,” Wade said.

Steven Pauliuc, 23 months, probably was wondering what was going on as his mom and brother joined dozens of others doing Zumba at the school, which is south of Hagerstown.

Steven spent a lot of time just standing in front of his mother, watching the instructor and others dancing about. Occasionally, he was coaxed into taking a few steps.

Mom, Victoria Pauliuc of Hagerstown, said she brought the kids and friend Adrian Curca, 9, “to move a little bit. Stay off the computer.”

Alex Pauliuc, 14, described the event as “Awesome. Fun. I can’t describe it.”

When asked if he’d rather be playing video games or dancing, Alex said he’d rather be dancing.

Daizhaun Danico Johnson, 11, said he’d normally spend a Sunday playing video games at home after church.

Zumba is better, he said.

“When I first did it, it hurts a little and then I got used to it,” said Daizhaun, whose muscles just needed to adjust to the workout.

Now he does Zumba at the YMCA, like his dad, Douglas Johnson, and brother, Daquan Johnson, 9.

“I like how you can build your muscles up and stuff, and lose weight. It’s a hard workout,” Daquan said.

Douglas Johnson said he joined the YMCA about two years ago and found Zumba so exciting that he extended his membership.

“I like the weight loss. I lost close to 40 pounds in two months,” Johnson said.

In addition to a Zumba class he attends five days a week, Johnson said he also takes aqua Zumba twice a week.

On Sunday, his wife and five children joined him at the dance event.

“When I started enjoying the classes, I thought it’d be something they’d enjoy,” he said.

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