Thursday, April 19, 2012

Healthier lives through the art of stepping

Jessica Saul, Art of Stepping, teaches event attendees the art of stepping
Let's get this out the way: stepping and strolling is for everyone. There's a small stigma out there within the Greek-lettered organizations that other people shouldn't be able to step or stroll. However, after meeting Jessica "Remo" Saul, I found a new found respect to anyone that is able to use this style of dance to enrich their lives. Remo's company Art of Stepping (AOS) was born in 2005 when an after school provider approached her to work five schools for nine months in New Jersey. The provider attended one of her showcases and was really impressed by how she presented herself and how much the kids participated. Today, AOS has expanded to several states (not just in the East Coast) as well as performed for national brands including Nickelodean, Telemundo, among others. 

Remo recently took two of her steppers to Telemundo Philadelphia's Dia del Niño event at the Please Touch Museum. It was the second time the AOS team visited Philadelphia. At the museum, Remo and her team performed for the children in attendance as well as taught them two separate steps. Without hesitation the group of kids ran across the main hall of the museum to learn more about this rare form of exercise and dance. Many of the boys and girls were very enthusiastic about running around the lobby and exercising. Remo's company teaches children of all ages how to live healthier lives through the art of stepping.

"We are fighting a tough battle," commented Remo. "I believe needs to start with the food companies "Making the products we use day to day a bit healthier so when we pick them up to use in our traditional foods we are using healthy options." And it's true. First Lady Michelle Obama launched her Let's Move! campaign to fight childhood obesity. According to the campaign, over the past three decades, childhood obesity rates in America have tripled, and today, nearly one in three children in America are overweight or obese.

In 2012, Remo and Art of Stepping received President Obama's Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition - Community Leadership award. The award is given out annually to no more than fifty (50) individuals who improve the lives of individuals within his/her community by providing or enhancing opportunities to engage in sports, physical activities, fitness, or nutrition-related programs.

Remo at Nickelodean's
8th Annual Worldwide
Day of Play
"To see my kids from across the country love it so much, that they to want to do this full time, just resonates so much in my heart," Remo said. "It gives me the fuel to make my company a success so they too can live their dreams." Remo's colleagues have the up-most respect for her business. Nino San Andres who is a part of AOS's New York Dance Team enjoys working with Remo on a professional level. "Don't know anyone that has transformed a simple hobby into something extraordinary like AOS," he commented.

The future will bring many more opportunities for Remo and AOS. As more and more schools and organizations become aware of her programs, AOS will soon be a nationally recognized brand. Parents of all children should take more notice of their child's diet. Start early and don't just feed them vegetables, but get them involved in after-school programming. Let's join AOS and fight against childhood obesity.

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