Dance breaks should be mandatory in the workplace.


Today’s attempt to get rid of a two-day headache has led me to a tasteful Christmas playlist on Youtube. I normally shun any holiday music between January and September, but the quest for Ella Fitzgerald led me to play this music genre out my open window as if it belongs in springtime.

The voice of an angel, Miss Fitzgerald’s trumpet-like treble has the ability to cure headaches. No, really! This theory has been tested and approved by a friend who also suffers such ailments. While she can’t cure a full migraine, Ella can sure make it bearable. Music in general is a great escape from anything, and I pull out the big guns when I need to.

When it comes to the right occasion, certain styles should be used like commands. Head still throbbing after some Ella? Switch to Ella singing Christmas music. That extra nostalgia pinned to the holidays will serve as a better relaxer. Need a mental break from your studies or work? Have a dance party. I usually like mood music while writing fiction, but sometimes I use the shuffle feature just as an excuse to find several songs that get my body moving in between paragraphs.

Dance breaks should be mandatory in the workplace. (So should nap time, but that subject is for another day.) I’m talking about the cheesiest, simplest, most ridiculous dance moves, no judging, no strings attached, because we’re all in this together. It’s all about exercising in an escapist way. It’s also about the music. The stranger, the better.

If I’m prone to have private dance parties to songs like “Take On Me” by A-Ha, so should everyone else. Imagine a whole office pumping a dorky, beat driven song and everyone dancing to it. Or, imagine everyone listening to their own favorite hits via iPod headphones and continuing to dance together–different songs, same dance outcome.

Earlier this week, I found a techno remix of the Ghostbuster’s  theme song. This was a gem after just having finished watching season one of DBZ Abridged because the theme had been stuck in my head in the worst possible way. Needless to say I danced. A lot.

This is not uncommon;  I find a lot of random songs buried in my music collection and usually like the stranger varieties. Sometimes, I play a newly found artist too much simply because I need to get more acquainted with them. Others I still play a lot because their sounds do so much for me. Some Christmas music does a lot for me, too. In between all the mood music that finds its way into my life every day, even the mood music that’s a metaphor for the sounds we hear day in and day out whether we want to or not, we have to find the varieties that turn us onto something different or cures what ails us.

If I hadn’t begun playing this Christmas playlist, I wouldn’t have heard more songs by Whitney Houston and wouldn’t have decided to discover more of her music. Hearing her wouldn’t have led me to discover that I know more of her songs than I thought. There are some really good dancers in the music video “I Wanna Dance with Somebody.” (I was born in ’87. Cut me some slack for still learning this history.) I also discovered her voice also has a healing power.

When I need some music with fresh air to cure this blasted headache, I just need it. Although my far from stellar dance moves will likely get worse, my body will thank me.

Sing along. Parade often. Invent new moves. Dance like everyone loves you.