‘Dance Where You are Day’: How to celebrate

September 17, 2012

Elliot Gensemer, (left) and co-founder Joey Katona and pther participants during a game of tug of war at "adult recess", a program run by spacious, has adult Washingtonians come out and play with pie throwing, tug of war, twister and other kid games. (Evy Mages/FOR THE WASHINGTON POST)

Tuesday is “Dance Where You Are Day,” part of an online fundraising campaign for the forthcoming documentary “Seriously! A Movie About Play.”

 So far, thousands of people have signed up to “dance where they are” at noon on Sept. 18 and ask as many people to dance with them as possible, said Gwen Gordon, a filmmaker and Bay Area “play consultant,” who’s “calling on all fun-loving, but most likely play-deprived people to join in.”

She’s launched a 35-day Kickstarter fundraising campaign in an effort to raise $25,000 that would help complete the production of her documentary. The film explains the importance of play around the world in lifting depression, decreasing stress, increasing productivity and boosting health.

 The three dancers to share a “Dance Where You Are Day,” video with the most number of playmates wins a case of dill pickles — because its playful — and a DVD of the finished film, Gordon said.

“Adults are working longer hours with shorter vacations, and most parents have under five hours per week to spend playing with their children,” said Gordon, who’s also a member of the Association for the Study of Play, a membership organization for academics who study the stress-relieving effects of goofing off.

Her one-hour documentary will includes stories about the importance of play from around the world and will feature leaders like Antanas Mockus, the two-term mayor of Bogota, Colombia, who reduced traffic fatalities by 50 percent by hiring mimes to direct traffic.

Her event is part of a month of dance-related events including “Let's Dance!,” which is scheduled for Sept. 20 at 7 p.m. at Georgetown’s Lululemon and hosted by Spacious, a D.C.-based organization that’s launched “a playful revolution to help people bust out of cubicles. That event will include free-form dance and a trip to “a nearby bar to hang out together and catch our breath,” says Spacious co-founder Cary Umhau.

In April, the organizers held an adult recess and pie-throwing day in Washington’s Meridian Hill Park. The crowd of about 65 people included tech-support workers, doctors, State Department employees, and Capitol Hill aides who ended up covered in 72 cans of fat-free Lucerne whipped cream.

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