As Go Red Week came to an end, the School of Nursing, the Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine and the University Recreation and Well-Being put on their first Go Red Week Dance Jam at the Rec Center on Friday, Feb. 3.
Go Red Week takes place from the end of January to National Wear Red for Women Day on Feb. 3. The week raises awareness of women’s heart health. Heart disease is the No. 1 killer among women. The first few days of Go Red Week at OU consisted of a health fair in the Oakland Center, a heart love workshop and a mini-heart walk, where every participant was given a red T-shirt to support the Go Red Initiative.
Stephanie Willis, wellness and educational outreach coordinator for University Recreation and Well-Being, stressed the importance of being aware of heart health from a young age.
“The time to start caring about heart health is now,” Willis said. “A lot of people we find are waiting until they are in their later years before they start paying attention to heart health, but we are finding that the sooner we can educate younger students about their heart, the less likely they are to have health issues in the future.”
A healthy heart stems from two main places: diet and exercise. Physical activity plays a major role in preventing heart disease and heart attacks. This is why the Dance Jam was incorporated into this year’s Go Red Week. Organizers wanted to get people interested and moving with a brand-new event.
“We really wanted [Go Red Week] to have one big splash at the end of the week where we could really get everyone moving together to end the week on a high note,” Willis explained.
In order for all of these events to take place, especially the Dance Jam, everything had to be set in place and the dance routines mapped out. With the help of Erin Davidson, the fitness programs and services coordinator for OU Rec Well, everything ran smoothly.
“[The Rec Center] has done a couple dance parties before and really wanted to bring an intimate event for people to get active at the end of Go Red Week,” Davidson said. “Our department has always worked closely with Go Red, so we were pretty packed and the energy was great. I think the community loved the Dance Jam. We always try to bring some sort of dance jam each semester because people look forward to it. We are really trying to get the word out about heart health, specifically today women’s heart health, so taking care of your body and exercising.”
By the last song, everyone showing off their best dance moves at the Dance Jam was sporting red and having fun while getting active to support heart health.