Ellen DeGeneres, Apple, Google and Microsoft App Stores - 'Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)'

By Peter Bernstein May 07, 2012

For followers of my musings about how the tech world turns, you know I am a firm believer that intellectual property needs to be protected and that content creators must be compensated properly for their ingenuity. However, what follows is the exception to my rule.

As a public service I am doing two things. 

  • Revealing my idea for what would hopefully be a free app that would run on iOS, Android and Windows for a “Dance of the Day.” 
  • Rather than monetize this myself I am putting it out here as open source with a twist. 

The twist is that I am asking anyone who reads this to contact the popular daytime TV talk show host Ellen DeGeneres, and/or a favorite mobile app developer who could work with Ms. DeGeneres, to join forces here in the U.S. to fight not just childhood obesity but obesity in general. In fact, my target audience is specifically those of us @WORK who spend too much time being sedentary.

This group, despite my constant breaks to talk short walk, includes me. This is therefore absolutely to be viewed a being more than a bit self-serving.

I offer this based on the indisputable research that quantifies how and why dancing makes you happy and healthy, and the alarming studies that highlight how people who have desk jobs and do not exercise briefly during the day are putting themselves at significant risk. On the latter check out the popular PLoS Blogs (Public Library of Science) and bookmark it for a variety of reasons, but make sure click the link to recent research in Australia, “Sitting for just a couple hours has measurable (and negative) health impact,” or the disturbing findings presented at the recent Weight of the Nation conference in Washington, D.C. that predicts 42 percent of Americans will be obese by 2030 with severe economic and health implications.     

Linking Ellen and the app

If you are not from the U.S. or are otherwise not familiar with Ellen, and if you are unaware of the myriad of dance apps, games and video already available for PC and smartphone download, let me briefly explain.  

As to Ellen, she is a multi-talented comedienne who has had a successful and somewhat controversial sitcom and film career. She became a syndicated weekday talk-show host on September 8, 2003. On that first show she started with what has become a daily trademark of hers. She performed a daily dance and is joined by her studio audience. That day it was appropriately to the 1990s mega-hit by C & C Music Factory, Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now).

TV has subsequently become a great medium for getting people up and boogying.

  • Oprah Winfrey a few years back set a world record by getting a flash mob of over 50,000 people in Chicago to learn a special dance to the Blacked Eye Pea’s #1 hit, “I Gotta Feeling.”
  • The poplar show So You Think You Can Dance” has sponsored for several years “National Dance Day” where at selected locations around the U.S. crowds perform three dances they have learned from watching video online.
  • If you have a young adult in your house, or have been to a senior citizens home, you are probably familiar with the immensely entertaining interactive video game, Dance, Dance Revolution which has been around since the late 1990s for the Nintendo Wii, Playstation 3, Playstation, Xbox 360, and now is online for PCs and tablets.

In addition, if you go to the Apple Store or Google Play there are tons of apps to do everything from teach you to pole dance to take video a friends just doing their thing and putting it to music so you can then upload it to Facebook. Yippie!

There is even a terrific non-profit Everybody Dance Now! — a youth-run nonprofit organization that provides free, weekly dance programming to young people throughout the country who would otherwise not have access to such opportunities.

So with all of this, what’s missing? Why my plea to Ellen and the developers to get to work? The answer is simple, THERE IS NO APP FOR THAT!

I wanna dance with somebody

As the late Whitney Houston made popular with her worldwide hit in 1987, “I Wanna Dance with Somebody!

Reality is if you could assemble a flash mob at your office for just five minutes per day, and have somebody teach a simple dance to a popular tune, chances are you would get people up and out of their seats. It can accelerate the bring your own device (BYOD) trend to work by giving people a purposeful reason to spend quality time with their smartphones — learning new moves, being exposed to different dance and music genres, kicking up those endorphin levels without artificial or even natural stimuli.

Think of the fun. Think of the opportunity to team build and office morale build. Think of the health benefits. Think of all the additional riffs you could build off of this base. Think of the fact that all of this fun and fitness will cost you nothing but a couple of minutes and a smile. 

Where Ellen comes in is for this to be really successful you need a friendly fearless leader. She is doing this anyway so why not make it viral? She already has a library of thousands of videos on YouTube, why not customize them and make them an app? 

I close with one last request. Ellen, if you read this, have your people contact me. We at TechZone360 wanna dance with somebody, and that would be you. 

P.S.  In the name of good office etiquette so as to no disturb your co-workers who may decide not to participate, and the reason to use your smartphones in the first place, follow the instructions of the Doobi Brothers by "Takin' It To The Streets."  So get up, get outside and get moving.

Edited by Braden Becker

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