Doing the happy dance

Published 9:41 pm Tuesday, December 9, 2008

A happiness study done on 4,700 people between 1983 and 2003 by researchers at UCC in San Diego and Harvard revealed that happiness is contagious and that your happiness and well-being have an effect on people around you.

Happiness is also spread through line-dancing, and we really need this happiness at this time of year, since depression is said to take place during the holidays more than any other time of year.

Since I wrote the column on the Obama Hustle, some people have asked me if I really do that much dancing. Let’s take a look at my dance schedules during the last two months.

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On Nov. 10, Gail Hinton-Copeland, along with my son, Mark Wall, and I gave line-dance demonstrations for the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Alpha Iota Chapter of Suffolk at the Suffolk Hilton Garden and Conference Center.

On Nov. 22, we gave demonstrations for the Norfolk Chapter of Les Gemmes Inc. at the Radisson Hotel in downtown Norfolk.

Last Saturday, Gail and I were invited by the East Suffolk Alumni Association to give line-dance instruction at a follow-up party to the reunion that was held last summer. Gail had to work, so Mark filled her place.

The event was held in Whaleyville in the home of Jasper and Mattie Mullen. Jasper is the vice president of the association, and his home was just right for a variety of activities to take place for those who didn’t wish to participate in learning the dances.

There was an activity room for those who wanted to play table tennis. In the living room was a gigantic flat-screen TV for those who wanted to watch college football. In the den was finger food, including my “Better-Than-Sex” deviled eggs. The kitchen held the main course of our meal.

That party was the first of several that I will attend in December. They include the Senior Gala Christmas Party sponsored by the Suffolk Park and Recreation Department and the Suffolk Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Christmas Gala. Both will be held at the National Guard Armory on Godwin Boulevard. Also, I will attend the Las Amigas of Suffolk Social Club’s Christmas dance that will be held at the Shrine Club on Elizabeth Street.

Dancing until I drop is certainly better than shopping until I drop. At least, I assume, it’s much cheaper.

In addition, according to Dr. Nancy Syderman, the chief medical editor of NBC News, spreading happiness enhances our ability to find peace, hope for the future and joy in common experiences. When you spread happiness, she said, you also spread good health.