Youth Center takes step in right direction

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Jason Wiese
  • 90th Missile Wing Public Affairs
Children from the F.E. Warren Youth Center put on a dance performance, dancing to Beyoncé Knowles' "Get Me Bodied," for their parents July 11 in the Freedom Hall Fitness Center.

The dance was part of a larger effort to raise awareness to the growing childhood obesity issue and to encourage children to be active, said Cerrina Smith, 90th Force Support Squadron training and curriculum specialist and the event's organizer.

"[Childhood obesity] is a major concern," she said.

More obese children means more children who will grow up to have health concerns such as high blood pressure and adult onset diabetes, she said.

Smith attributes the rise in childhood obesity to a more sedentary lifestyle including fewer activities involving exercise.

"I thought it was great," said Staff Sgt. Patrice Brazzell, 90th Missile Security Forces Squadron Personnel Reliability Program monitor. "I think it's very important for kids to be fit and have fun while doing it."

Brazzell's elementary-aged daughter, Sy'Christian, took part in the dance. She was somewhat less reserved when discussing how she felt about the event.

"It was awesome!" she said, showing the Youth Center's effort to encourage active, healthy lifestyles was not lost on her.

Staff Sgt. Curnita Brisby, 90th Security Forces Squadron, a 20-year dance veteran who has choreographed on the college-level, volunteered her time and skills to provide dance instruction to the children.

Dancing is a good way to show kids exercise does not have to be strictly weight training or highly-structured aerobics; anything that gets them moving around for at least 30 minutes per day is good, Brisby said.

The event descends spiritually from an exercise initiative First Lady Michelle Obama and singer Beyoncé Knowles spearheaded, Smith said.

Brisby took the dance moves from that initiative and made them her own (without losing any intensity in the routine), Smith said.

After rigorous dance instruction, one of Brisby's pupils told her, echoing the dance song's lyrics: "You gave a whole new meaning to 'a little sweat ain't never hurt nobody,'" Brisby said.