Greetings ACPM Members,

Hopefully you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and have completely digested any massive amount of food you may have consumed and perhaps were able to exercise to compensate for the calories. Over this past weekend, I read an article in the New York Times (NYT) about Dance; posing the question of why we don’t do more of it as we all know that movement is essential to well-being and good health. I had to ask myself this question as well given a little reflection on how much I loved to dance — at night when I was young and single, often with my husband (and of course at any and all weddings or celebrations where there is music) and then now, post pandemic, of when and how infrequent.

A yoga class I took pre-pandemic offered dance as a form of stress reduction and integrating breath with body movement. My Jazzercise classes also included dance at 5:30 in the morning, which was a great way to start my day. However, the pandemic wreaked havoc on these forms of group exercise and shifted all routines to predominantly dormant lifestyles glued to a computer screen. Last year, an executive coach of mine turned on rage music in one of our sessions and we both got up and really danced — yes virtually. It seemed odd at first, but afterwards (mind you, it was only about 3 minutes) it was exhilarating. We both laughed…and then beamed. It was exactly what we both needed at the time. While reading the article, I reflected on that dance moment with my coach and thought how important it is to share this story and hope others may have read that NYT article as well and reflected on how to incorporate dance into your daily or at least weekly movements.

As we also enter the month of consumption, reflection as well as potential planning for a new year ahead, I hope this inspires you to move more — whether your own exercise routine or to integrate dance for levity or just sheer joy, and if not, then to plan for how to incorporate dance into 2024. The world around us can be quite heavy with the situations in Europe and the Middle East as well as the human suffering, disparities, health and social inequities in our own backyards. Finding a few moments to smile and move and dance can be just what is needed.

This past year, I learned there are members of the College who dance competitively or as a hobby — ballroom dancers and square-dancing. I just did a “Happy Dance” when I learned that Dr. Clarence Lam, the residency program director of the Johns Hopkins University program just launched his campaign to run for Congress — and for my district in Maryland. So, if you are eager or interested, there might be an opportunity at the upcoming annual conference in Washington, D.C., for members to showcase their dance talents. Wouldn’t that be fun? Whether we incorporate dance into the plenary or concurrent sessions is yet to be seen, but hopefully you have already renewed your membership and registered to attend Preventive Medicine 2024, April 18-21, 2024.

We received more than 140 abstracts for concurrent sessions and more than 170 abstracts for posters, so there will be ample content and rich science to be gleaned at the event. We also have some fun built into the sessions as well as an important trip to Capitol Hill on April 17 — planned for those of you willing and able to don your clinical jackets and march to Congress asking for important increases in funding to ensure a robust pipeline of preventive medicine physicians to meet the needs of the country.

So, plan to bring your dancing shoes to D.C., warm up your moves over the holidays and see who can showcase the best moves on the Capitol steps or the halls of the Omni Shoreham.

When all else fails… I hope you dance, 

Donna Grande, MGA

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