Forecast invited 2016 Mid-career Project grantee Marcus Young to share information on how to participate in his DanceBreak Challenge from August 14-18, 2017. 

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All of us need to take breaks in the day. Maybe it’s a coffee break or a snack break or a moment of stretching or meditation, just to give us some relief from the normal stresses of daily life. What if those brief periods we take throughout the day were re-purposed for dancing? And not just any dancing. The form of dancing I’m proposing is the type Don’t You Feel It Too? practices—dancing your liberated inner life in public places. For more than nine years we’ve been playing with this mind-body movement form. People who try it report feeling stress relief (perhaps after some initial stress about dancing in public), joy, compassion, belonging, and many other personal and social benefits. What if we integrate this form of dancing into our daily schedules as dance breaks? What would that feel like? A group of us is going to find out, and if you’re curious, you can sign up to try it too.

Usually participating in Don’t You Feel It Too? takes the shape of a group experience, like an outdoor yoga class but with free-form dancing instead of sun salutations. Everyone is welcome. People gather in public space like Peavey Plaza in downtown Minneapolis, we give instructions and lead warm-up, we dance on the streets (silently, each with our own music through earbuds), and we discuss the experience and learn from each other. That’s a typical 90-minute session. For our upcoming experiment we’re going to take three short dance breaks a day for a week, approaching dance more like building a good new habit. This next project is called the DanceBreak Challenge. This is a test, only a test, but it’s a humorous, practical, and new exploration of experiencing dance, public space, and your daily life.

So if you want to try something new, do something daring, and explore Don’t You Feel It Too? as everyday self-care, take the DanceBreak Challenge! Not a smoke break or a coffee break. From August 14-18, join the Challenge community, and take three dance breaks a day for a week. Integrate our practice of joy and confidence into your daily schedule. Dare to dance wherever you go, whenever you want. To find out more and to register, go HERE. Registration closes 5:00PM, Friday, August 11.

Recently, I happened upon a TED Talk that teaches how to build confidence by lying down in public space. The premise is that you practice behavior that is outside your comfort zone, and you eventually relax into what you were originally afraid of doing. You become confident and liberated from your own fears. The DanceBreak Challenge is exactly that and much more. Dance. Love. Liberate.