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At 1:30 p.m. yesterday, DJ Mac was rocking out. Sandwiched between two speakers on the plaza outside the D.C. Department of Health, he blasted Parliament and . “Old school stuff,” he said. “Hand-dancing music.”
Hand dancing, D.J. Mac said, is what they do on TV. (For a brief history of D.C.’s relationship to hand-dancing, go here). “You’ve got all this wild dancing, but hand dancing makes two people one,” he mused.
Perhaps, but hand-dancing also just makes people move, and that’s the point. Erica Thomas, a program manager with the Department of Health, says yesterday’s show was the second installment of Wellness Wednesdays, an effort to get agency employees up, out, and exercising. “We were trying to find a different form of fun physical activity for Department of Health employees,” she says.
So, starting Sept. 12, and through Oct. 31, the Department of Health is sponsoring music and hand-dancing from 12-2p.m. every Wednesday.
“This is sort of a pilot to see if everyone likes it,” she says. If the response is positive, they’ll keep it going, maybe even expand it. During the winter, she says, the department might offer belly-dancing, yoga, and Tai-Chi at a gym inside the government building.
But despite DJ Mac’s best efforts, the workers perched on the plaza yesterday were practically motionless. The most he could get was a foot tap. That came from Joseph, an employee with the D.C. Office of Tax and Revenue. “That’s my era,” he said of the Intruders. “I actually listened to them coming in this morning.”