Don't you miss going out dancing? We thought so, which is why AARP is teaming up with Daybreaker, the global morning dance movement with over 500,000 participants, to sponsor the free Daybreaker Live! A Tropical Holiday for the Holidays get-together on Saturday, Dec. 11, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. ET. Tune in via Daybreaker's Zoom video-chat platform to join a virtual dance party online and kick up your heels in safety at home. The event will also feature singer-songwriter, rapper and activist Michael Franti. Escape from winter for a morning full of joy and social connection. It’s island time!
How the dance party works
Get ready for a wave of fun in the virtual sun. Here's how it works.
- 11 a.m.: A dance warm-up by Kukuwa Fitness, followed by an epic dance party with tunes by DJ Monica Dogra.
- 11:50 a.m.: Daybreaker star Elliott LaRue will kick off the dance party itself, which runs through 1 p.m. ET, and participants of all ages and abilities are invited to this free, intergenerational event (advance registration required).
In other words, get your kids and grandkids to join in on the fun!
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What to wear
Wear whatever outfit puts a spring in your step. But if you want to really dazzle everybody on the interactive Zoom cam, don your beach-vacation best — perhaps floral shirts and wacky holiday sweaters. Jingle-bell-rock with abandon!
Why dance parties are fun and good for you
A dance party is seriously good for you at a time when it can be more challenging to get exercise. The AARP-founded Global Council on Brain Health's report shows that music and dance are effective treatment tools for a wide range of age-related conditions, including Parkinson's disease and dementia. They stimulate the brain, relieve stress, build social connections and combat the isolation that plagues so many these days.
What could be better than music or movement? The two combined, says John W. Krakauer, director of the Center for the Study of Motor Learning and Brain Repair at Johns Hopkins University. “Synchronizing music, which many studies have shown is pleasing to both the ear and brain, and movement — in essence, dance — may constitute a pleasure double play,” Krakauer wrote in Scientific American. Simply put, music stimulates the brain's reward centers, while dance activates its sensory and motor circuits.
And while exercise in general has many positive effects on well-being and health, a study of 479 adults 70 and older published in The New England Journal of Medicine in 2003 showed that of 11 physical activities (including cycling and swimming), only dance lowered dementia risk.
Remember to RSVP!
More than 90,000 people have jumped for joy in our AARP Daybreaker events. Get in on the fun by registering no later than 10:50 a.m. ET on Dec. 11, the day of the event, to get a link to participate.
Tim Appelo covers entertainment and is the film and TV critic for AARP. Previously, he was the entertainment editor at Amazon, video critic at Entertainment Weekly, and a critic and writer for The Hollywood Reporter, People, MTV, The Village Voice and LA Weekly.