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Taking Women’sHealth out of the Waiting Room and onto the

Dance Floor How one Austinite is changing women’s health in an unexpectedly exciting way BY MELODY AFKAMI AND DAVINA BRUNO


ans Bos, contemporary admirer of dance said, “When I dance, I cannot judge, I cannot hate. I cannot separate myself from life. I can only be joyful and whole. That is why I dance.” And that is why founder of Melody DanceFit, Melody Afkami, is using dance fitness to reinvigorate health and wellness among Austin’s women. With a degree in Psychology from the University of Texas, and formal training in pointe, jazz, hip-hop, and Latin ballroom, Melody is taking her experience to the masses in an amazing celebration of womanhood, gratitude and happiness. According to Melody, one of the biggest issues facing women’s health today is a poor work/life balance. Women are naturally ambitious, and Austinites are no different, however, success often accompanies neglecting our bodies and general mindfulness. The mind and body are connected, and daily doses of stress can cause our bodies to react in some very specific ways – with stress, there is often a temporary increase in physical energy production. While this sounds like a great thing, this energy output normally compromises other bodily processes such as the digestive and immune systems. In women especially, this can lead to short


A U S T I N MD M A G A Z I N E . C O M

and long-term health problems. Melody addresses this issue by bringing mindfulness and positivity back into women’s health so the focus is less on adding another task (working out) to the daily grind, and more on shifting focus from everyday stressors to inner wellness and balance. Not only does work often compromise women’s wellness, but the modern-day beauty culture does little to uplift and motivate positive body images for women of all

ages. Unlike a few decades ago when social media was mere science-fiction, the average woman today feels more insecure about her body, comparing herself with others constantly with social media images. Today, this reality manifests through eating disorders, poor community structures among women, and a lack of celebration of individual beauty and strength. “As women, it’s our responsibility to choose kindness over cattiness and understand we’re the most powerful

Austin MD May/June 2016  
Austin MD May/June 2016