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 Easy Like Saturday Morning Dance Party, a free, all-ages, virtual community event, with performances by Motown heroes the Commodores as well as Gloria Gaynor on March 26. (It’s a special component of AARP’s three-day AARP Celebrates You! virtual festival on March 24-26, which also stars Rod Stewart, Dolly Parton, James Patterson, Sanjay Gupta and Ty Pennington. Check out the whole schedule here).
How the dance party works
Let AARP transport you to a morning full of joy and social connection. Here’s how it works.
11 a.m.: Look out, baby, ’cause here we come — kicking off the day with a free-form body movement warm-up led by Daybreaker founder Radha Agrawal, followed by throwback favorites spun by DJ Jazzy Jeff and hosted by Radha and MC Elliott LaRue. Join thousands of participants on Zoom, all from the comfort and safety of your home. The party runs through 1 p.m. ET, and participants of all ages and abilities are invited. You must register in advance, so RSVP for free right here to get the link.
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What to wear
Wear whatever outfit puts a spring in your step. Dust off your dance moves for a chance to show us your skills on the interactive Zoom dance cam.
Saturday, March 26, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. ET
Daybreaker Live! Motown Dance Party
Move to the music of Motown with our Daybreaker Live! Easy Like Saturday Morning dance party. Put down your coffee, tell your friends, and join the legendary Commodores and their signature smooth sound while DJ Jazzy Jeff spins the records to keep the energy going. Be prepared to show off your best moves — you might get on camera!
Why dance parties are fun and good for you
A dance party is seriously good for you, especially at a time when it can be more challenging to get exercise. A report from the AARP-founded Global Council on Brain Health shows that music and dance can be 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, M.D., 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 age 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!
Get in on the fun by registering no later than 10:50 a.m. ET on March 26, the day of the event, to get a link to participate.