Few facts are more evident than Mississippi’s overall poor health. Cite a negative health indicator – cancer, diabetes and its myriad complications, high blood pressure, health attacks, stroke, dementia, and on and on – and you can bet Mississippi occupies space at the head of the list. Not for nothing, then, does the state Department of Health’s State Health Improvement Plan (“SHIP”for short) demand work to create a “culture of health” (see https://uprootms.org).
Maybe less evident than the current absence of a Mississippi culture of health is that there’s an eminently accessible way to start building one – social (aka “partner”) dancing, i.e. two (and occasionally more) people joining on the dance floor (actual or makeshift) for a few minutes of melodious movement together. A building body of research continues to document the extensive array of physical, mental, psychological, and social benefits promoted by the relatively simple act of regular social dancing.
To gain these benefits one need not be particularly talented or skilled, or rhythmically or musically inclined, or of any particular age, race, or gender, or endowed with the resources to pay for fancy equipment or pricey lessons or classes. Rather, one need only be willing to give it a go, to try dancing for the health of it.
More to follow on how we can make that happen in future entries.