The top soul line dancing company in the state of Texas, 410 Line Dancers, will be hosting The Texas Jam Soul Line Dance Conference on Juneteenth Weekend (June 17-19) at the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport Marriott North located at 8440 Freeport Parkway in Irving.
The “party with a purpose” is featuring line dance instructors from across the country. And this year, it will also have a Health Fair with the goals of prevention and improved health outcomes in the community.
Dance Your Way To Health
Saturday, June 18, the 410 Line Dancers invites the community to a free health fair that celebrates and explores health and wellness, spirituality, beauty and style, empowerment, community and culture, entrepreneurship and much more within the African American community.
Running from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. the health fair will include panel discussions, “meet and greets” with local candidates, and line dancing workshops featuring some of the best dancers and instructors in the industry.
“Our health fair is open to the public, with the goals of prevention and improved health outcomes in the community. Respected physicians from the community will be speaking about improved health outcomes related to their various specialties. There will also be free blood pressure and vascular screenings,” said Dr. Sharisse Stephenson, a Dallas-area neurologist and the primary organizer of the health fair.
A fan of line dancing, Dr. Stephenson points out that the movement and socialization is good for all participants.
Founded in 2014, the nationally acclaimed 410 Line Dancers was established out of an interest to provide an environment for people to learn soul line dancing, and is centered on the principles of inclusion, positivity, and upliftment. Its mission is to enrich the community by teaching and creating an uplifting, healthy, inclusive and healing atmosphere through the art of soul line dancing.
410 Line Dancers teach soul line dancing ranging from the easiest to most complex dances in the DFW area where their culture is “NO Cliques, No Drama…just GREAT dancing.”
Students are able to participate in line dancing parties and events, get healthy and active, burn calories, and most of all do it while having FUN, FUN, and more FUN, according to the 410 Line Dancers Facebook page. “We cultivate high standards of excellence in line dancing while maintaining a low-pressure line dance class environment.”
Neurology and Dance-ology
Possibly the biggest fan of this soul-line-dancing is Dr. Sharisse Stephenson, a Dallas-area neurologist and the primary organizer of the health fair.
A brain injury expert, Stephenson attended Columbia University in New York for her undergrad then worked with Teach For America before getting her pre-med and Biology Masters at the University of Texas at Arlington. Then she went to the University of Pittsburgh Medical School. She returned to Texas and has had her own practice for 12 years.
Her specialty is diagnosing and treating Migraines. She feels her calling is helping people to get heathy and back on with their lives. “Knowing I’ve helped someone to overcome their migraines, go back to work and their life, is the best!”
In the last few years, she has spent a lot of time with Soul Line Dancing and realized the movement and joy of the dance is great exercise, and something her patients could benefit from.
“I just love line dancing!” she says, “and so I had this idea to combine the dancing with a health fair.”
The event she is partnering with is every two years, and she admits, “It’s really a big ol’ line dancing party, but I know dancing can really address some unmet needs – especially in the African America community.”
Overcoming the stress of implicit bias, the lack of heath care access and the abysmal maternal mortality for mothers are all issues she deals with in her practice with her patients.
“Understand that dancing is a healthy – a fun and fit way to improve your goals, is empowering.”
There will be free screenings at the Health Fair which include checking for Multiple Sclerosis (MS), which has seen an uptick in the African American and Hispanic community.
Dr. Stephenson says “We don’t know why this is. Is it environmental? Genetic? We’re not sure yet but caught early there is so much we can do!” She continues, “This is definitely an issue for us – it can take a long time to be diagnosed. If you are diagnosed late, your illness is much more serious. People might lose use of their legs and end up in a wheelchair.”
Other stressors may be mental, like dealing with “Karens,” who think the world revolves around them. “Dancing is a way to relax, laugh, have fun while you exercise. It’s helpful in so many ways.”
Other medical experts will be on hand to talk about health issues and Judge Tonya Parker will be there supporting the event due to personal reasons: her mother recently had a stroke because she stopped taking her medications. “She wants to encourage those attending to keep up with their own medications. And to know after a stroke, there is hope – there is rehabilitation.”
The Mayor of Irving and local Councilmen will be attending too, so while attendees can get their blood pressure and vascular screenings done, they can also ask questions of their local elected politicians.
The community health fair and dance event begins at 9:00 a.m. through 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 18, at the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport Marriott North, 8440 Freeport Parkway, Irving, TX 75063
For more information about The Texas Jam and for the event schedule, visit 410linedancers.com/texasjam. To learn more about 410 Line Dancers and to sign up for classes, visit 410linedancers.com.
Got a question for Dr. Stephenson? [email protected]