Kohl's Gotta Dance
Remember for a minute your favorite dance music. Hear in your head the beat that seems to take control of your feet and you find your whole body moving with great joy and few inhibitions. You have that feeling of "just gotta dance!" Those watching you would probably find a smile on your face as you move about and for the few minutes the beat of the music captures your heart and soul; you are relaxed, free, and happy. The significance of dance reflects an intrinsic cultural orientation toward physical expression and creativity. For many groups, dance plays an important role as a means of emotional expression, interaction, support, respect and cohesion. Studies show dance has improved health outcomes in various populations. For example, dance has been shown to reduce stress, increase bone mineral density, increase physical activity in sedentary populations and decrease weight.
Dancing to increase health is very effective. Dancing regularly will slower your heart rate, lower or maintain healthy blood pressure and improve or maintain healthy cholesterol levels. Dancing can also improve circulation, lung performance, flexibility and help grow healthy and strong bones. Dancing teaches one to respect themselves and others by being a part of a team, learning to work together to achieve success and problem-solve within their groups to perfect difficult moves and steps. Above all, dancing leaves one feeling physically and mentally healthier.
In 2013, St. John’s Children’s Hospital and Kohl’s Cares for Kids partnered to spearhead a multi-organizational community program called ‘Kohl’s Gotta Dance’. This program resulted in 120 pre-teen and early teen children moving to the rhythm of Hip Hop, Modern Dance, and Irish Dance music as they participated in one of four free dance classes offered weekly. While having fun, these children also exercised – a factor in addressing and preventing childhood obesity, which is among the top three needs identified in the St. John’s community health needs assessment.
Kohl’s Gotta Dance is a fun and innovative way to help address childhood health and wellness in our community. Classes are held weekly for 30 weeks and students have the opportunity to perform live several times throughout the year. The community collaboration includes skilled instructors from Achill Academy of Irish Dance, Dance Creations Dance Studio, Springfield Dance, and TurnOut Movement Arts Studio. Other partner organizations include Abundant Faith Church, Real Life Church, Clear Lake Church of Christ, and Hoogland Center for the Arts. ‘Kohl’s Gotta Dance’ has provided an opportunity to help children of many different abilities and disabilities learn ways to exercise and have fun!
History of the partnership
The Kohl’s Cares® hospital program was introduced in 2000 to reinforce Kohl’s commitment to the communities we serve and promote children’s health initiatives. Kohl’s supports more than 160 children’s hospitals nationwide through the Kohl's Cares® cause merchandise program, which has raised more than $257 million for children's health and education initiatives.
Four times a year, Kohl’s introduces new Kohl’s Cares® cause merchandise, which includes children’s books and plush toys. Items are $5 each and 100 percent of the net profits are donated to children’s health and education programs nationwide, including local Kohl’s hospital partners. Each hospital partner hosts a special event where Kohl’s publicly presents the hospital’s annual Kohl’s Cares® funds.