My 4-year-old granddaughter decided that a Subway Sandwich shop in South Dakota was as good a place as any to show Papa her moves. So she danced. She danced and pirouetted in sunlight shafts cascading through the window.

Her tiny little body moved in rhythm to the music wafting through speakers in the ceiling. She had an audience of one, singular admirer to which she chose to show her joy: Papa Rick.

Naturally, I applauded often and heartily. I watch the video often and heartily.

A few days later, I sat along the cordoned-off street in Newtown, Pennsylvania, while musicians played under a canvas tent on summer’s eve. I watched the little children, dancing without inhibition, to the delight of the musicians and their family. A young couple gazed into each other’s eyes as they danced along the sidewalk. A retired couple, years of their bodies moving in tandem, danced a dance that only the two of them could know.

I like to dance. Whether it is with my wife on a sawdust covered dance floor or doing a jig in my woodworking shop when the right song comes on, I like to dance.

Dancing is an expression of joy. Unhappy people don’t dance but happy people do.

A few years ago at a Kansas Hunger Dialogue conference, I was told to lead the entire group of college kids and professors in the room in the Harlem Shake. You know that saying, dance like no one’s watching? Well, I like to dance when no one’s watching, so the idea of dancing in front of a bunch of college kids intimidated me.

One of the students, who is now a professor, conned me into it. I couldn’t help but dance. They captured it on video. I must admit I didn’t look too bad shaking my groove thing with a bunch of college kids and their professors. I started, the students quickly joined then the profs. It was fun. It was a great memory.

According to research, dancing isn’t just fun, it’s an excellent way to improve your health. It’s a good workout, a social activity, improves your flexibility, and fights off the blues.

How long has it been since you danced? I was in a room full of high school students last night packaging meals for the hungry and they cranked up one song and the entire room danced.

Come on and dance with me!

Here is one of the best dance videos, ever. I don’t know who had the time or took the time to find old dance videos and mash them together, but I’m really glad they did.

Old Movie Stars Dance to Uptown Funk

What’s your favorite song for dancing?