Having spent several months sat behind a desk writing my new book The Dance Cure – the surprising secret to being smarter, stronger, happier, I wanted it to come alive. I wanted my book to dance. I wanted to dance.
The Dance Cure is about how dancing transforms people. It’s about how dancing brings us together, it’s about how dancing changes the way we think, and it’s about how dancing releases us emotionally. In The Dance Cure I describe how different styles of dance can change the way we feel. Therefore, if you want to make changes to any part of your life, dance might provide the key, or the cure.
There’s a great American competition, called Dance your PhD, where scientists are challenged to explain their research findings through the medium of dance. It’s fabulous.
I wanted the Dr Dance Happy Dance to show that dancing is for everyone, of all ages and physical abilities.
I wanted the Dr Dance Happy Dance to show that people can dance anywhere.
And I wanted the Dr Dance Happy Dance to show the joy people feel when they dance.
At Dr Dance HQ we huddled in the studio and worked out what we needed to do to make the Dr Dance Happy Dance happen. Lindsey was in charge of working out how to get 70 community dancers, a health and safety officer and and a place to dance, Digby was responsible for producing an original happy, groovy soundtrack, and I had to find a film crew and arrange a sunny day in February.
Our first call was to Annamarie, who runs Longevity – Exercise for Life. Annamarie holds community dance classes for over 200 adults every week. Sorted, we had a cast. Our next call was to filmmaker Emma Flett. She clicked her heels and brought in Jon Stapleton, a veteran DOP from the BBC. Action, we were ready to roll. Once we had the venue, we thought we had it all. It was two days to filming, but what should everyone wear? Final call to my sister, Amanda, who brilliantly created T shirts in all the right sizes. Delivered, we all looked spick and span. All we needed now was a sunny day.
On the 29th February (a rare day) we woke to near horizontal rain, which later turned to hail. Emma and Jon drove from London to our location in Cromer, on the north Norfolk coast, with windscreen wipers struggling to keep up. It wasn’t looking good.
Every dance teacher who stands in front of a group of dancers sees something extraordinary. Dance teachers witness transformations. People glow when they dance, they become more beautiful. As the Dr Dancers warmed up in Cromer Parish Hall another amazing transformation occurred. All of a sudden, we could hear the music clearly. The rain and hail had stopped. The wind had dropped, and the sun was shining.
We didn’t hang about. We knew this was our moment. As we danced down the street, and on to the beach, I felt The Dance Cure come to life in the most magical way.
I hope you can see the joy on the dancers’ faces and recognise that dance is for everybody.
We hope you enjoy the Dr Dance Happy Dance
19th March 2020