Scattergood Foundation

Advancing Innovative Strategies for Change in Behavioral Health

Easy Shape Dancing (ESD)

Name of Innovative Program: 
Dancing With the Community @ Friends Community Campus Center
Sponsoring Organization
Easy Shape Dancing (ESD)
Name of Innovative Program Lead: 
Carmen Dominguez
E-mail Address of Innovative Program Lead:
Project Description: 
While there are certainly many facets of recovery, we have learned that regular exercise is one of the greatest spoonsful of medicine that shapes our Mind, Body and Soul(MBS) and helps us focus on recovery and Living Disease Free(LDF). The nominee, family and community members have started the Easy Shape Dancing project to focus on physical and mental health simultaneously. All of us are diagnosed with Hypertension, Diabetes and/or Mental Health conditions. These conditions are highly prevalent in several minority populations. We have been following a schedule to participate in Shape Dance four times weekly. All together the weight loss has been 47 pounds, and our diseases are being better managed as we dance, exercise, eat healthier, and continue to learn about our health needs to ultimately live disease free. We seek to Shape Dance with the Community for recovery and disease free living. An exercise and information center needs to be established to enhance the wellness and health of the community – both participants and professionals alike. This project seeks to have Friends Hospital provide rental space on the campus grounds to promote Self Sufficiency/Efficacy, Exercise, Fitness, Nutrition and Mental Health for all community friends to enhance MBS. 
Creativity and Innovation: 
Integrated services are a definite pathway of recovery. This community will enforce a holistic approach to wellness. Through exercise and various educational classes within this social community, participants will feel better, experience reduction of stress, gain support from others, learn important coping skills to help manage crises, and work towards recovery and living disease free. Educational workshops will include Medication Management, Mental Health and MH Diagnosis Education, Coping Skills/Techniques, and most importantly, Exercise and Nutrition classes which will include Yoga, Pilates, Meditation, Zumba, and Aerobics. Healthy cooking and eating will be an ongoing focus. This can only further educate our young population to learn better coping skills and techniques to manage stressors and such emotions in life. Furthermore, entrepreneurial skills workshops will promote self-efficacy and self-sufficiency through programs such as exercise instruction and arts and crafts.  Future workshops will include learning about franchising and bringing jobs for our young adults.  
Pioneers in Behavioral Health are focused on integrating and coordinating the medical and physical health needs of participants. Integrated service is leading the way by empowering people with diagnoses to take full charge of treatment and recovery.
There is documented evidence of successful implementations of exercise programs that embark healthy lifestyles where wellness and recovery begins. Membership fees and insurance reimbursements maintain such centers in full operation. Also, the sales of creations such as jewelry, vases, hair accessories etc., could take place on campus grounds, as well as the future inclusion of entrepreneurial works such as fruit, vegetable, and farmers' stands to promote healthy eating. 
Local exercise and information centers can be replicated all over the county and state. Currently, mental health agencies are embarking the integrated service by implementing medical services in conjunction with psychiatric needs. This would be a start to ensure a holistic approach to health care. 
A local community multi service health and fitness center on beautiful grounds with nature walks will provide peer to peer support, motivation, companionship, promote mental and physical health, reduction in diseases among professional and non-professional men, women and families, reduce daily stressors and provides vigor in managing crisis all the while staying recovery focused. According to third party research, exercise and fitness engages participants in taking personal responsibility for treatment and assists in rejuvenating the relationship between participants and providers so the treatment direction solely focuses on lifestyle modification where health and wellness begins. To evaluate the success of this innovation, records of attendance, participation, and improvement of participants’ physical and mental well-being would be maintained. Downsizing smaller, neighborhood gyms are still alive and well. (Health&Fitness Sports Magazine, 2007). Contributing Editor Allison Stephan is a Houston freelance writer. Contact her at