Dance 4 Life: Fighting Childhood Obesity with Hip Hop Dance and Health Education

In 2006 I launched a program called “Dance 4 Life”. Dance 4 Life is a program that was created specifically to fight the epidemic of childhood obesity by way of hip hop dance aerobics and health and nutrition education three times a week. According to the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, childhood obesity has tripled since 1980. Youths that are obese are more likely to develop heart disease, diabetes, poor self esteem and a host of other life threatening medical conditions and psychological problems. Dance 4 Life addresses all of these issues with a tag team approach to fighting the epidemic of childhood obesity. Each hour long class is broken down into three segments that last for 20 minutes each.

Provides An Aerobic Workout

Segment 1 of the Dance 4 Life class consists of a 10 minute warm up and 10 minute introduction to new hip hop dance aerobic steps. All dance moves are taught at a beginner level in order to make it easy for every child involved to participate. Segment 3 (The last 20 minutes of each class) is dedicated to performing the dance aerobic routine that was learned in the beginning of the class.

Provides Health and Nutrition Education

In order to increase awareness of the dangers of childhood obesity and promote a healthy lifestyle, health and nutrition education is introduced in segment 2. This educational component comes in the form of health and nutrition facts that are learned by playing games and open forum discussions. This part of the class is just as important as the dance aerobic segment because it teaches Dance 4 Life students how to adopt a lifestyle that consists of healthy eating and regular physical activity. This is the only way to beat childhood obesity. As early and young as they are, it is important to educate them already about the importance and value of having a healthy body. Aside from providing them the right food they need, you should also educate them about health and fitness. There are several websites where you can get information about health such as

Builds Self Confidence

The Dance 4 Life Program is excellent for building self confidence. In addition to hip hop dance aerobics and health and nutrition education, students are given the chance to perform the dances they learn in class at community fairs and events. The performance aspect of the program along with the aerobic workout and health education all work together to increase student’s self image and overall confidence.

If you don’t live in California’s east Contra Costa County and aren’t able to take advantage of the benefits of the Dance 4 Life Program, you can still fight childhood obesity. Make sure your child gets regular exercise at least 3 times a week for an hour. This could come in the form of various extracurricular sports activities or just good old fashioned playing outside. In addition, make sure your child is educated about good eating habits and an overall healthy lifestyle. In addition, if your child is interested in hip hop dance, it wouldn’t hurt to sign them up for classes. It’s a great way to stay in shape.