Have some extra time to reflect on your health during the shelter-in-place period? Need a jolt of inspiration? If so, look up “Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje, Ice Dancing.” Then click on a few—or even just one—of their performances, and see if you don’t gasp, sit up, sway, and even sigh as they make the difficult look easy, graceful, and dream-like. You’ll likely click replay.
Kaitlyn and Andrew are three-time World Championship medalists and two-time Games competitors, so it’s no wonder these Shaklee Pure Performance Team members so readily connect with the audience (and judges) in their enthralling performances. But watch this perfectly synchronized couple perform long enough, and you might ask, “Is this a dance or an athletic event?”
“It’s both,” Andrew will tell you. “The objective is to transform these incredibly complicated athletic moves into a pleasing, graceful, even beautiful story that makes you forget how difficult and challenging it is.”
And while Kaitlyn and Andrew are elite competitors, there’s no doubt they also simply love to dance. So many of us do, and in this shelter-in-place period, it’s easy to imagine the dance we all might do when we’re back on the streets, back in crowds, or even back on the ice.
Will we dance for our health and for exercise? Possibly. But in a survey of the Shaklee Pure Performance Team athletes, only 14% percent said they dance specifically for health benefits (such as flexibility, balance, cardiovascular fitness, strength, etc.), but a large percentage said they dance for joy or celebration (62%) and socialization (22%). That shouldn’t surprise us. Indeed, we might “spin” or “flip” the whole dance concept and think of it this way: We don’t dance to stay healthy; instead, we stay healthy to dance.
In the same survey, several of the Shaklee athletes offered some thoughts on dancing as we look to brighter days ahead:
- Great dancing feels identical to being in the zone athletically. Mind and body acting as one. Effortless adaptation and improvisation. Seth Kelsey (Fencing, ’08, ’12, ’16)
- My husband and I are both horrible dancers, and it seems like we can’t get in the same rhythm. But we keep trying! Dancing together always ends with us laughing at ourselves and remembering how bad we are at dancing, haha! Amy Cozad Magaña (Diving, ’16)
- I think it’s great when you have a bunch of friends to dance with and let loose. Such an amazing way to express yourself and just have fun! Julian Yee (Figure Skating, ’18)
- Dancing will put anyone in a good mood. Get upside down once a day, change your life! Alyson Dudek (Speed Skating, ’10, ’14)
- I love to dance! I was in ballet for 15 years along with several other styles of dance. I learned so much about balance and awareness of my body. I believe that helped me so much in my sport then and especially in my sport now. Now, I enjoy taking Dance Barre and Zumba classes for exercise, and when I can, I love dancing for fun. Lexi Lagan (Shooting, ’20)
- I have two left feet, but it doesn’t keep me from enjoying the special moments and just having fun! Sometimes you have to embrace your lack of ability just as much as we embrace what we are good at. Ali Weisz (Shooting, ’20)
- There’s no wrong way to do it. You just have to keep moving and not care about what others think. Cale Simmons (Pole Vault, ’16)
Of course, Kaitlyn and Andrew think about dancing every day. Andrew summed up our discussion by saying, “I know I want to change a person’s life and outlook by dancing. If I can bring a smile to one person’s face, then I’ve accomplished much. If I can ‘bring’ one person on the ice with me, then the dance is a success!”