Emory staffers skip lunch line for dance line - KMSP-TV

Emory staffers skip lunch line for dance line

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ATLANTA, Ga. -

It all started when Pamela Johnson discovered line dancing. You know, where everybody lines up and follows the same steps?

Pamela enjoyed line dancing so much, she invited her coworkers at Emory University to meet her downstairs, in an unused kitchen, to dance.

Tucked inside Emory University's 1599 Building, human resources staffers Janice Parmer and Pamela Johnson and their coworkers spend eight hours each work day sitting. Staring at a computer. Stuck.

Janice Parmer says, "After a while you get a little sleepy, or you get a little tired." Pam Johnson agrees, “That's what we do, I'm an application developer, I'm on the keyboard all day."

Well, all day, until 12:15pm. Because that's when the party starts.

Pamela Johnson took a line dance class and fell in love. So, a while back - she sent out an email invitation to her Emory coworkers: meet me downstairs. Dance with me.

Johnson says, "You would hear like a thump-thump-thump if you approach the room, because I crank the music very loud.

I want them to feel it. "Like you're at a party! It's that whole feeling of, "Oh, I like that beat!" And then you start wanting to move."

Pretty soon, so many coworkers were lining up to dance, they had to move to this no-longer-used kitchen.

Where for 45 minutes, they let go. You don't have to know how to dance to participate, Johnson says, “A lot of people say they don't have rhythm, and I explain, "It's not about technique. I am not the best dancer in the world. It's the effort! You can dance as hard as you want to get your heart rate up or you can keep it nice and mellow and smooth. And just start moving."

And Janice Parmer says it feels good to move, “And that breaks up the monotony, and gets our heart rate up, so when we come back to our desks, we're not as stiff as we before. And they we're more alert.

"And actually it invigorates me. I have done some of my best coding and figured out some of my most difficult issues after dancing. Because I go back and I'm ready! I sit down. I'm physically tired, but I'm invigorated!"

"My work is brain work. I don't do physical work. So this is like recess!

Sparkpeople.com says a 150 pound person who line dances for 45 minutes burns about 230 calories. Both Pamela and Janice say they've lost weight, and they feel great.

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