Something new in the way of exercising is being introduced to the area.

It’s called DANCEPL3Y, which is receiving glowing reviews after its first appearance in the area in September.

Dale Loutit, left, the recreation programmer with the Town of Hay River, participates in a DANCEPL3Y training session with her daughter Riley Rose Bonnetrouge in September on the Hay River Reserve. photo courtesy of Dale Loutit

That was at a Sept. 9 and 10 training session on how to teach children. It was held at the Chief Sunrise Education Centre and sponsored by the Town of Hay River.

And DANCEPL3Y is returning to the area on Oct. 28 and 29 for a training session in Enterprise on how to teach adults and teens.

Dale Loutit, the recreation programmer with the Town of Hay River, attended the free session on the reserve and hopes to be at the training at the community centre in Enterprise.

“It’s amazing. I really loved it,” said Loutit. “I really would like to see it everywhere. It was an amazing experience. And I even had my daughter out there with me and she had a lot of fun while we were practising.”

She described DANCEPL3Y as physical literacy-infused dance and a lot of fun that incorporates fundamental moves.

“It’s pushing the importance of moving so that people learn how to run, to throw, to skip, to jump, the essential skills,” she said.

Loutit hopes that, after the trainers are ready, DANCEPL3Y classes can be offered in Hay River.

Loutit believes DANCEPL3Y will become popular.

“People will just have to give it a try, just like anything new,” she said.

Loutit said she brought DANCEPL3Y to the area after being told about it by Amanda Grobbecker, a master trainer from Slave Lake, Alta., and a former resident of Yellowknife.

Grobbecker noted that, while the DANCEPL3Y training on the Hay River Reserve was the first in the Hay River area, there have been sessions in Yellowknife and elsewhere in the NWT for several years.

She learned about it at a session in Fort Providence about four years ago.

“DANCEPL3Y is based on fundamental movement skills and physical literacy. Basically, it’s a playful dance,” she said.

The fundamental movement skills include hopping, skipping, jumping, throwing, balancing and more.

“It’s a high-energy physical activity program,” said Grobbecker. “So we use Top 40 hits for the music and then we add our movements to that.”

She noted what makes DANCEPL3Y different is indicated by the ‘3’ in its name.

“DancePl3y is spelt with a three instead of an A, and that’s just because of our three rules of play. So be fun, be positive and be yourself,” she explained. “Our program is 360 throughout the room. So you’re not standing on a spot or going in lines. You’re moving all throughout the space. And when you’re doing that there is no left or right. What we always say during classes, ‘You can’t get it wrong.’ So just follow the basic movement that we’re doing and then make it into your own style.”

Amanda Grobbecker, right, of Slave Lake, Alta., is a master trainer with DANCEPL3Y. In January, she taught a class in Gameti. photo courtesy of Amanda Grobbecker

Grobbecker noted that 10 people, and possibly more, will be attending the free DANCEPL3Y training in Enterprise.

“There’s definitely more and more interest in it with both the kids and adults,” she said.

Erin Porter, the recreation and wellness co-ordinator with the Hamlet of Enterprise, is looking forward to the DANCEPL3Y training session in the community for the first time.

“It’s fun,” she said. “It’s not your typical get out there, do exercise. You don’t feel like you’re exercising. You feel like you’re just having fun and dancing.”

Porter said she attended the training session on the Hay River Reserve and will also participate in the upcoming session through the Hamlet of Enterprise’s wellness and recreation program.

She noted most of the participants in the upcoming training session will be from Hay River.

“The training is free,” she said. “So you might as well do it.”

Afterwards, Porter hopes to incorporate DANCEPL3Y into Enterprise’s healthy children program and afterschool activities to get young people more active.

Paul Bickford

Paul Bickford is the reporter for Hay River Hub.

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