Community-Based Dance Program: Effects on Diabetes and ObesityPrevention and Management


Katie Savin: 0000-0001-8155-0749


Social Work


This study evaluated the non-profi t Dance Out Diabetes’ Dance Off the Weight Program for its potential to promote exercise, improve healthcare outcomes and access to care, and reduce isolation among people with or at-risk for diabetes by including their immediate circle of support. The program entailed attending a fun, monthly cultural odyssey of dance classes taught by experts with built in health screenings and consultations with certifi ed diabetes educations and registered dietitians, all at no cost to participants. Weight management was the educational focus for the year. Referrals to local primary care physicians, endocrinologists and social worker consultation were also available. The program was primarily volunteer run and hosted by a local community center. Health metrics captured included BMI, waist circumference, blood pressure, A1C, pre- and post-dance blood glucose levels, selfreported exercise intensity/duration and eating habits. Out of 301 total participants who were primarily women belonging to diverse ethnic backgrounds and included all age groups, 203 opted to have their metrics recorded. From month to month, the retention rate was 25% with a total of 29 participants who did complete re-resting of all metrics. Most signifi cantly, analysis of this initial data showed a mean A1C level drop of .49% and a mean BMI decrease of 1.28. A third of participants were support people, such as friends and family, who indicated that they do not have diabetes. Despite limitations in sample size and the potential for a social desirability bias amongst those who opted out of metrics recording, the improvements in A1c and BMI values are signifi cant and warrant further investigation. The program provided a monthly intervention, yet potentially modifi ed behaviors to promote health between sessions. Ongoing data will continue to be evaluated to determine if a monthly, cost-effective, community-based dance program is effective in preventing and managing diabetes and obesity. Supported by: Aetna Foundation

Document Type

Conference Presentation

Publication Date


Publication Title

American Diabetes Association 73rd Scientific Sessions


American Diabetes Association

Conference Dates

June 21-25, 2013

Conference Location

Chicago, IL

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