Editor's note: Ace is blogging about being a dad trying to rebound from the coronaivrus pandemic at My Rebound by FOX 17. He desired for his son to feel both pride in and connection to his Filipino heritage, so he founded the Grand Rapids Asian-Pacific Festival in 2016. Also a banker, he recently resigned from his position – now staying full-time with his 6-year-old son. He and his wife, son and dog live in Plainfield Township.
Have you ever dreamed of taking the stage to perform your best ever impersonation of "Napoleon Dynamite"?
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Or of jumping in the spotlight with a dance routine that you spent countless weeks perfecting, wow-ing with every nuance of your moves?
“Dance Sundays” at our house is not any of those. It’s what we call our dedicated time on Sundays, spent as a family, and it’s a tradition that has helped me keep my sanity during my rebound.
This day evolved from early in my marriage, starting as a husband and accepting my wife’s request to dance with her. One of the first things we tried together was Zumba lessons, and now we conquer short dances that Redd can join in with us. Redd’s usual foray of dance steps involves jumping in place and flailing his arms, and as funny as that sounds, he is still a better dancer than his old man.
“Dance Sundays” usually involves a big production. The day starts when we get home after church. This is the time Jackie will scout social media for a dance routine that is simple enough for me to follow. After her selection is made, I will make my rebuttal and demand we do something difficult. In my defense, I am the best pop locker in the world, in my head.
Last Sunday, we decided on a dance called “Wobble Up”. I felt proud of this dance, as I spent about two hours learning it. Jackie went to the store, and when she got back she was quite impressed. She then proceeded to practice, something I always try to sabotage. In my four-year quest to be a better dancer than her on a video, I do my best to find my right opportunities. And of course laughter is ensured since Jackie knows I am trying to cut short her chance to learn the dance.
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We try to keep pace with Redd’s attention span, and get the stage and camera set up so that we can record the dance quickly in one or two takes. In the meantime, Redd usually watches the routine on video a few times, and will call it good after one try. I wish I had that kid’s confidence, or more of his resolve to not care. He’s happy to just get in the middle and laugh with his crazy parents.
Dancing is a gift, as moving helps remove stress. “Dance Sundays” is one routine that I am pretty happy to keep. I also love seeing how much my friends enjoy the videos I share on social media of us dancing our heads off. And good news for my brain, I saw that the AARP recently recommended incorporating music to support brain health as you age.
Not being able to contribute to our family income adds an extra pressure on me as I search to find a flexible means of making a living. Can the pressure lead to depression? I do not know, but the disruption to my ever productive routines has put a damper in my usual positive self. Dance Sundays puts everything back in perspective. It puts what is most important in life, the love of a family growing closer as we traverse our life together.
“Brain health experts convened by the GCBH recommend people of all ages consider incorporating music in their lives to help improve quality of life and wellbeing.”