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Daily Street Exercise Classes Bring Community Together During Quarantine



  • Momo Hayakawa Koenigs grew up dancing to Japan’s daily radio calisthenics.
  • She thought it would be best to teach her neighbors this exercise during the quarantine.
  • Since then, they would gather everyday after work to dance, and they have felt closer more than ever.

It’s amazing how people keep finding ways to connect with each other during this especially difficult time of pandemic.

The  residents of Mac Groveland in St. Paul, Minnesota, never felt like quarantine had separated them from each other—matter of fact is, pandemic had brought them much closer as neighbors! When the stay-at-home order was put in place back in March, they came up with a routine that kept them in touch—and that’s through dancing!

 Everyday after work, the residents would gather keeping 10 feet distance and they would dance on the street as one of their neighbors, Momo Hayakawa Koenigs, led the exercise session for about three minutes.

Momo grew up dancing to Japan’s daily radio calisthenics and she thought it would be a great way to keep her neighbors spirits up. So far, many of them have been enjoying the sessions and many more have started to join!

Photo Credit: KARE 11 (Youtube)

“More than the physical aspect, psychologically, everybody walks out of their house at 6:30 with a smile on their face,” Momo said. “We’re just so happy to see each other and be outside of the house.”

These gatherings make them happy and in fact, they rarely miss one regardless if there is snow or rain!

“We’re not created to be in isolation,” one of the residents, Kim Kokx, said. “We’re created to be in community. So, we’re doing community as best we can.”

Photo Credit: KARE 11 (Youtube)

Christine Weeks, whose front of the house is where they meet up for the dance sessions, said: “In this time, we do need to be together and tend to each other in a practical way, but also, as much as we can, emotionally. … We can see each other and do things together in a safe way and have fun. It’s really cool to have something forward to.”

Quarantine and isolation may take a toll on one’s mental health, but with a community like this, there is nothing that one couldn’t do regardless of the circumstance. 

Source: Inspire More