In the midst of a heavily packed weekend of social fitness activities at Boston’s 4th Annual Social Fitness Festival, Dance Mile was a sight to see, high in attendance and high in spirits. Boston’s Social Fitness Festival is an annual free celebration of getting Boston moving, sponsored by Mayor Martin J. Walsh and hosted this year in City Hall Plaza on Sept. 14, 2019. Hosting events including Sweat Remix, CorePower Yoga, BollyX Workout, and Daybreaker, the festival attempts to encourage active lifestyles in Boston by exposing local residents to fitness-based activities. Dance Mile is a social fitness experience which encourages people to “grab your crew, don your costumes, and crush a mile of serious booty shaking.”
Rebecca T. Pham, an instructor at 305 Fitness in Boston, leads the attendees of Boston Social Fitness Festival in an active workout to prepare for the Dance Mile. To increase spirit and energy for the dance mile around downtown Boston, various hip-hop fitness experiences are hosted in City Hall Plaza before commencing the mile.
((305)) Fitness “is a ‘rave-meets-workout’ non-stop dance workout with a live DJ and a light show. Immediately after getting off the T in Government Center, the crowd of people participating in this “non-stop fun” is overwhelming and exhilarating. Following the lead of active instructors, the crowd was fully engaged and torching calories away as they #madesweatsexy.
Participants line up at the front of the group in preparation to dance for a mile on closed-off city streets behind a massive bedazzled float blasting modern music immersed in a cloud of bubbles. Donning bright neon clothing, dancers are visibly excited and jumping up and down eager to begin.
The Dance Mile promises “5280 feet of pure awesomeness.” Under the rules section on their website, they insist in all caps to “HAVE THE MOST FUN POSSIBLE.” Dance Mile promotes the experience as “all about fun, dancing, and celebrating the CITY YOU LIVE IN!” Led by local dancer Sylver Rochelin, the float started its journey by leaving City Hall Plaza and entering the streets of downtown Boston.
Angela Gentile (right), the owner of Sweat Remix and the emcee of Dance Mile, dances through the streets of downtown Boston, breaking it down to popular dance hits. Sweat Remix, an event at the Boston Social Fitness Festival, is a 45-minute “wellness remix of heart-pumping fitness and soul-feeding meditation”.
Erin F. Griffin and Ellen Dunn dance down the streets while belting out the lyrics of classic hits like Smash Mouth’s “All Star” and Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)”.
Soraya G. Pierre-Louis and Lola L. Owen, both third years at Northeastern University, spend their Saturday afternoon away from the library, movin’ and groovin’ through the streets surrounding City Hall Plaza.
The interactive dance parade, after moving at one mile per hour down a closed loop, concluded by returning to City Hall Plaza for a finish line dance party. While a large crowd danced the mile, very few stayed for the events afterward; the Dance Mile was the main event.