Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Epidemiology Center (GLITEC) is excited to present Powwow Dance Aerobics: Dance Your Way to Fitness, featuring Dallas Arcand and Aerobics Artists Chanelle Monroe and Shanley Spence. The purpose of this effort is to increase access to fitness programs for Native people in a format that is innovative, effective, culturally appropriate, and accessible to all of Indian Country.
Throughout the fitness program, Dallas emphasizes the importance of connecting to traditional culture through powwow dance while simultaneously improving health.
He explains how the program is not only completed in four parts (warm up, stretch and meditation, workout, and cool down), but how it also aligns with the four parts of the medicine wheel:
- Physical: The Powwow Dance aerobics program is a physical workout for participants. It is a way to get people moving and increase one’s heart rate to improve physical health.
- Spiritual: This program is also a spiritual workout. By dancing to the beat and spirit of the songs, Native participants are able to connect with their ancestors.
- Emotional: Doing Powwow Dance aerobics can provoke an emotional response. Dallas encourages participants to connect with their identity and themselves. It is a great form of self-care and self-love.
- Mental: This program also exercises the mind. Working out the mind by constantly paying attention to the beat and being mindful of the entire process is just as important.
The fitness program is a collaborative project of Dallas Arcand, CMA Entertainment, Red Roots Productions, and GLITEC. Dallas, a three-time World Champion Hoop Dancer from the Alexander First Nation (Kipohtakaw) Treaty 6 in Alberta, Canada, brings together powwow dancing, aerobics, and fitness to lead participants through this program. This fitness program is geared toward people of all skill levels and is suitable for all ages, from toddlers to Elders. The program includes four main sections:
- An introduction of Dallas, Shanley, and Chanelle
- Beginner- to advanced-level fitness program
- Dance performances by Dallas, Shanley, and Chanelle
- Flute song performance by Dallas.
The fitness program is available in multiple formats:
- Via YouTube: https://youtu.be/VTLvb9Q1n18
- Flash drive*
* Contact GLITEC at firstname.lastname@example.org to request a copy of the DVD or a flash drive.
Those that participate are encouraged to complete a three-minute survey to share their experiences. Everyone who does so will receive a free T-shirt (while supplies last). A paper survey is located inside the DVD case along with a pre-stamped envelope to send the survey to GLITEC. An electronic survey is available online at https://glitec.tiny.us/PowwowFitnessSurvey.