Tonawanda News — You can shimmy. You can shake. You can hop, skip, groove, shuffle or sway.
But at your first Lunch Beat — or your second, third, fourth — there’s one main rule: You have to dance.
The Kenmore Village Improvement Society will present Lunch Beat Buffalo, a outdoor dance party, as part of the Get Fit Kenmore initiative sponsored by the Sheridan Medical Group and PT MOG, from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. today at the Village Green, Delaware Road and Delaware Avenue, Kenmore.
Lunch Beat events are part of a global initiative to encourage wellness in the workplace through lunchtime dance parties. They started in Stockholm, Sweden, in 2010 and have spread to cities throughout the world, including Montreal and New York City.
And now ... Kenmore.
KVIS President Melissa Foster said the idea stared when members were seeking new events for the Get Fit Kenmore initiative.
“People associate dance with weddings, fun, happy, celebratory times when people get together,” she said. “We’re encouraging people to think of dance as a great form of exercise. It’s communal and fun and you’re bound to laugh. Anyone of any physical ability can do it.”
Katie Kirchmeyer, KVIS public relations coordinator, said that the event is a great addition to the initiative.
“I’m not sure if it’s because it’s something different, or not, but who hasn’t found themselves dancing around, bobbing their head, at least tapping their feet or fingers to music — in public or otherwise?” she said. “It’s also been a hit in Europe, so you know something about this is working. Between the music and the food trucks, burning calories is just an added bonus. It’ll be interesting to see how it goes.”
Music will be provided by a disc jockey and local food trucks will be present to provide lunch options, Foster said. The first 100 dancers will get a free water bottle.
According to the Lunch Beat website, the movement started with a dance event in June 2010 in a garage in Stockholm, Sweden. (Fourteen people attended.) Today, the website lists Lunch Beat groups throughout Sweden, to more than 55 other cities including Edinburgh, Istanbul, Seoul and Paris and on to North America, with events in New York City, Boston, Toronto and Montreal.
The Kenmore location may seen a bit of a departure, but it’s not, Foster said.
“If you’re a hip community, you’re going to have this,” she said. “We’re always looking for ways that we can have people discover wellness for themselves, whether emotional, physical, spiritual.
“This is a global thing. People from all over the world will see this posted on the Lunch Beat website. This is something that goes beyond the area. We may be a village, but just because you’re a village doesn’t mean you can’t join in global initiatives as well as your local initiatives, too.
Get Fit Kenmore will continue throughout the summer and into fall. Events include Get Fit Kenmore Hour from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. Saturdays at the Farmers Market on the Village Green. Activities will be T’ai Chi demos by the Taoist T’ai Chi Society of Buffalo on Aug. 3, 10, 17 and 24; beginner yoga Aug. 31; “Healthy Back to School” program on Sept. 7; “ Financial Wellness & Meditation” on Sept. 21 and fitness evaluations on Sept. 28. The Get Fit Kenmore 5K Race/Walk will take place Sept. 14.
For more information call Foster at 877-0477, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the KVIS website at www.villageofkenmore.com.IF YOU GO • WHAT: Lunch Beat Buffalo • WHEN 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. today • WHERE: Kenmore Village Green, Delaware Avenue and Delaware Road, Kenmore.