I was blessed with parents who not only gave me life – they gave me hope, faith, sense of family, love, an education, and the ability to have fun. And they taught me how to dance! From a very young age I was wearing ‘dancing shoes’. When my sister and I came home from school, Mom turned on some fun music and we would dance around the house. Sometimes, we would clean the house and make dinner to upbeat songs.
(Picture of Mickey (my dad) and me dancing at my sister and brother-in-law's anniversary party)
Being Italian, we frequently went to relatives for house parties. With some of the parties like Halloween and New Year's Eve, the parents had one area of the basement while the kids had another section for dancing. Other times they would take us to family hall parties.
Of course, weddings included entire families. Since the Italian grandmother sat at the table throughout the evening, she was in charge of holding onto the large purse that contained the wedding cards filled with money. That allowed the rest us to spend most of the evening on the dance floor. Dad showed me how to dance at the weddings. I loved watching my parents dance. They were a vision of elegance as they glided across the dance floor.
I absolutely love dancing and cannot imagine taking off my ‘dancing shoes’. However my parents blessed me with the gift of dancing that also benefits my health. The dances they taught me help my fibromyalgia and vertigo. My parents, who from the majority of my adult life I affectionately called Mickey and Jo, gave me a present I will be able to use the rest of my life.
A FEW OF THE DANCES I LEARNED FROM MICKEY AND JO
Beer Barrel Polka - “Roll out the barrels – We’ll have a barrel of fun!” Polka -Quick thinking and fast steps were needed to follow my dad around the floor with a Polish Polka.
Glenn Miller’s Moonlight Serenade (Mickey’s favorite band) - Box Step is a basic dance step of the waltz. I concentrate on my box step as I move around my living room. Mickey would gracefully move about the dance floor and knew how to guide me so that I did not miss a beat.
Dean Martin’s Cha Cha Cha D’Amour - Cha Cha is fun especially when you are dancing with a partner who knows the steps. My dad taught me the steps and I had a cousin who mastered the footwork. Now I had to know the steps because my dad wasn't guiding me. Cha Cha is characterized by intricate foot movements, quick-thinking spins, hip movement, precise action and self-expression all done to Latin American Cha Cha music. This dance is helpful for my vertigo because I need to concentrate on my posture and looking straight ahead along with focusing on my footwork.
Free Style Fast Dancing – My parents and my family had fun dancing free style fast dancing. These steps are helpful because I design dance steps that are beneficial for my fibromyalgia. I modify them with stretches and vary my movements. I also relax the music’s beat and concentrate on stretching and flexing. Even now with my free style dancing, I incorporate Mickey’s footsteps and hand motions. I also combine rock and roll, and my own creations.
I enjoy dancing at home because I am able to work it in to my daily schedule. However, I realize it will benefit me to take lessons and learn steps for proper balance, coordination and recommendations from a professional to help with my vertigo and fibromyalgia. My husband and I go out dancing about once a month but we only do free style. Within the next few months, we plan to take formal lessons and then I would like to join a group who meets consistently. As a caregiver, dancing as a form of exercise has quite a few positives. The following are some of the benefits when you add dancing to your life as a form of exercise.
Benefits of Dancing as a Form of Exercise for Caregivers
All You Need Is Yourself – Robert Jimison CNN October 19, 2017
Five Benefits of Senior Dancing – Ruby Cemental – June 6, 2017 Caring Senior Service of Denver East Blog
Health Benefits of Dancing – Katharine Paljug – June 20, 2017 You Care Everywhere
Caregiver Smile Factory: Dance Edition - Caregivers By Wholecare
Cecelia Salamone is a Licensed Professional Counselor with over 25 years in the field of counseling and rehabilitation. She enjoys attending workshops, seminars and conferences to help enhance her life, keeps her up-to-date on information, and offers the opportunity to network with others in this field. Cecelia was a caregiver for her parents and in-laws and involved in a support group.
To make the road easier for herself and other caregivers, Cecelia wrote Designated Caregiver - Resource Manual for the Caregiver "On Call 24/7", a hands-on, informative guidebook. The book covers topics relevant to high level care for our loved ones.
Cecelia has a M.A. in Counseling and B.S. in Education both from Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, Michigan. She lives with her husband, Jack Brisbin, in Canton Michigan, located between Detroit and Ann Arbor.
"Caregiver Inspirations" formerly "Reach For A Rainbow Caregiving" is dedicated to empower and educate caregivers with information, resources and support, classes, resource manual, along with emphasizing the benefits of Life Coaching for Caregivers.
Caregiver Inspirations is also beneficial for:
Cecelia Salamone is a Licensed Professional Counselor with over 25 years in the field of counseling and rehabilitation. She enjoys attending workshops, seminars and conferences. Cecelia finds they enhance her life, keeps her up-to-date on information, and offers the opportunity to exchange ideas with others active in this field. Over the past twelve years, she has been a member of the Metro Detroit Creative Writers group (MDCW). Cecelia was a caregiver for her parents and in-laws from 1994-2014 and was involved in a support group.