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Dancing is Rx for healthier communities
Warwick Beacon photos
STEPPING OUT: Irish step dancers Bryana Mullin, Mary Comtois and Natalie Turner, all of Warwick, warm up for their routine at the Warwick Mall Saturday afternoon.

An Irish tradition made an early appearance at Warwick Mall Saturday, but that’s just what was intended by those organizing the National Day of Dance for Your Health.

Damsha Irish Dance Studio was one of four groups to perform at the event staged by Care New England. This is the first year Care New England participated in the nationwide event, a program of the Spirit of Women Hospital Network held in 70 communities and attended by more than 70,000 people across the U.S.

The day of dance couldn’t have been better timed for Damsha, said Colleen Kenyon. She pointed out that the performance is the first of the season and one of 32 slated between now and March 22.

Predictably, the dancers are busy on St. Patrick’s Day. So far they are booked for 11 shows, starting at 9 a.m. at St. Peter School and running up to 8:15 p.m. where they will perform at an event hosted by the Little Sisters of the Poor at the Wharf Tavern in Warren.

Kenyon admits so many performances is a lot of work, adding, “they love it; it’s the best time of year.”

And the dancers were ready, kicking their legs and tapping their heels. Shoppers stopped to watch and, while they didn’t venture to join in, they got the message that exercise is healthy. Other forms of dancing during the afternoon presentation included line dancing by the Mishnock Barn, Zumba dance fitness with Carolyn Pires and a performance by Dance Unlimited.

Chester Hedgepeth, MD, PhD, executive chief of cardiology, Care New England, Brigham and Women’s Cardiovascular Associates at Kent, was among physicians in attendance to provide information and answer questions. Care New England staff also offered screenings and educational information all aimed at building healthier communities.

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