September 19, 2014  

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Free Ballroom Dance Lessons Available to Southern Miss Employees

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On Wednesday, June 18 employees from The University of Southern Mississippi will hit the dance floor for the first of a four-week beginner’s ballroom dance lesson series. Offered by USA Dance Hattiesburg-Laurel, the program will be held in the Payne Center’s Dogwood Studio.

Free lessons will be led by Rebecca Chandler, a Dance Vision International Dancers Association certified instructor and Southern Miss alumna. She will teach basics from the six major styles of ballroom dance – waltz, foxtrot, tango, rumba, cha-cha and east coast swing.

As a member of the USA Dance chapter’s board of directors, Dr. Michael Forster, dean of the College of Health, proposed the program to Jodi Ryder, health education promotion and wellness coordinator of Student Health Services.

“I think it’s hard for people to exercise sometimes because they haven’t found an activity they truly enjoy,” said Ryder. “Through the ‘Health is Golden’ initiative, we hope to introduce people to various ways of living a healthy active lifestyle. The partnership with USA Dance and USM provides us with another opportunity to show our campus community that being healthy can be fun.”

“With National Ballroom Dance Week coming up in September, the timing was right to offer some beginner classes to USM employees,” said Forster. “I was delighted when Jodi Ryder, seeing the compatibility with her ‘Health is Golden’ campaign, agreed to co-sponsor the classes.”

Forster cites a number of reasons for his love for dance. “Nothing draws together the physical, cognitive, social, and aesthetic dimensions of the human experience quite like dance. Certainly few single activities can deliver as many health benefits at one time as dance does,” he said.

To learn more about The University of Southern Mississippi’s “Health is Golden” campaign, visit www.usm.edu/wellness. For more about USA Dance Hattiesburg-Laurel chapter, visit http://usadancehattiesburg.com/.