Tag Archives: spontaneous

P.A.D.S. Saturday–Dance to your own beat

Hey kids!  My birthday falls on a Saturday this year so here we go.  A special birthday edition P.A.D.S. Saturday submission.

What is P.A.D.S. Saturday you ask?

It’s Public Acts of Dancing Spontaneously.  I know this isn’t entirely spontaneous.  This kid has done a bunch of these Apple store dance recordings.  He’s famous for them.  But I posted it because, check it.  Kid’s wearing aqua blue glasses and is rocking in a public place.  Those girls behind him look all weirded out by it.  But honestly I think they are jealous.  I’m jealous.  Kid’s clearly FEARLESS!  This is my wish for the new year.  I was like that once.  I was fearless.  Here’s to a year of finding my way back to it again.

Hoping you have a week that’s both FEARLESS and FULL OF DANCING!


Jeanette DePatie (AKA The Fat Chick)

PADS Saturday–Kid Rocks Out to Cuba Pete at Local Swimming Pool

Not gonna lie, it’s been a tough week.  So I think it’s time for a PADS Saturday?  What’s a PADS Saturday you ask?  It’s a blog featuring a


Act of



Frankly, I love this kid.  I love him even more than this guy (and that’s sayin’ something)

He is clearly talented and having a blast.  And a big thumbs up to the people in this kid’s life who allows him to feel supported and loved.  And that’s my message to you today–who do you know who needs to be supported and loved?  How can you help somebody out there to live their purpose, be their full and true selves and shake their groove thing?  What can we all do to help make the world a little better?  Because, I’m telling you, this week I’m feeling the need to make a better world.


Jeanette DePatie (AKA The Fat Chick)

P.S. Want me to bring my speaking and bust a move with you at your school or business or school?  Click HERE to learn more and to BOOK ME!

P.A.D.S Saturday will make you “Happy”

If you are wondering what PADS stands for, it is:
Acts of

And for our very first PADS Saturday, we have this totally epic dance to Pharrell Williams’ song “Happy”. This kid decided to bust a move at the Kentucky High School Athletic Association’s basketball tournament last Friday. Since then his crowd-pleasing spontaneous boogie has gone viral, and why not. This kid has got some epic moves.

You’ve got the boogie down the steps. You’ve got the point. You’ve got hand claps up, down, behind and under the leg. And you’ve got the layback dance down. This kid is totally and completely committed to this groove, and for that, I salute him. You danced that like a boss! You totally earned the ovation you got at the end.

The dance has garnered so much attention, that word got to Pharrell Williams who reportedly said, “He experienced no limits. Every kid needs to know they all possess the potential to access that feeling.”

That, my friends, is what PADS is all about. It’s about seizing the moment.  It’s about letting joy overwhelm you.  It’s about parking shame at the door and not worrying about what anybody has to say.  It’s about fully committing, I mean really GOING FOR IT–damn the torpedoes.

So what can basketball Happy dancing kid inspire you to do today?  If you get a crazy idea, and ACT on it, I want to hear about it right here in the comments.  Extra bonus points for photos and videos.


Jeanette DePatie (AKA The Fat Chick)

Spontaneous Fire and Falling Stars

Firelight on upturned faces as we watch the stars begin to fall.

Firelight on upturned faces as we watch the stars begin to fall.

Last week I mentioned that I was going on retreat.  I went.  It was wonderful.  The church choir members and I and my husband congregated up in Big Bear.  We brought the dog and our tent.  We had a lot of fun together laughing and eating and exploring and eating and resting and well eating.  Several members mentioned that we were probably most successful at the last 3 letters in retreat.  I suggested that we used all the letters, just in a slightly unconventional way.  We did eat.  And then we did re-eat.  And we capped it off with some tea.  So we covered all the bases.  We came back down the mountain on Saturday sun-kissed, happy and tired.

But I’m writing today to tell you about what happened on Sunday.  After church, my husband and I were enjoying some lunch and talking about what we would do that day.  He mentioned that the Perseid Meteor showers were scheduled to be at their peak that night.  We said what a shame it was that we wouldn’t be able to see them very well in LA.  I quickly pulled out my phone and googled “best places in So Cal to see Perseids”.  #1 on the list was Joshua Tree National Park.  At this point it was nearly 1:00 PM.  But my husband and I looked at each other and both got a devious and adventurous look on our faces.  “Let’s go,” said my hubby.  “Woo Hoo!  It’s an adventure!” I said.

Neither of us had ever been to Joshua Tree.  I quickly found out that it was over 2.5 hours drive and the visitor’s center closed at 5.  There was no ability to make a reservation at a campground at that point.  Luckily we hadn’t really unpacked from Big Bear yet.  We frantically threw things into bags, loaded up the cooler and some warm clothes and the dog and hopped in the car.

This is not typical for us.  Usually I have maps printed and our site reservations confirmed all before we even think about leaving the house.  I have an excel spreadsheet for all our camping gear for God’s sake.  But this time we just went for it.  And it was magical.

My husband and I are both complete space geeks.  Always have been.  We had decided to sleep in the car.  The Element has seats that all fold together to make a bed.  But the meteor shower was SO much more spectacular than I imagined it to be.  The viewing conditions at the park were perfect!  We ended up sleeping on top of a picnic table, bundled under a pile of blankets, holding hands and watching the stars fall from the sky.

It was nearly 3 AM and the park was so quiet.  “There’s one!” He whispered.  “Oooo that’s a good one!” I would reply.  For a while we tried to keep count as to who had seen more.  But as the morning wore on, there were 2 or 3 or even more meteors per minute.  We simply lost count.

Geek love is a little different than what you see in the movies, kids.

You know, there are so many moments that we work so hard to put together.  We scrimp and save and plan.  But this impromptu little trip will probably live on as one of my very favorite memories.  We didn’t have a fancy meal.  A fast food nosh on the way and s’mores around the fire.  But just being together and breathing together, and experiencing wonder together, was so very peaceful and joyful and exciting all at the same time.

Tired, rumpled and happy after staying up all night watching meteors.

Tired, rumpled and happy after staying up all night watching meteors.

What I’m trying to say here is that sometimes you just gotta throw caution to the wind (at least a little bit), throw some stuff in a bag, hop in the car and go.  You never know what you’ll get.  On the down side, stuff will be sort of a disaster, and you’ve got a funny story to tell  your friends when you get home.  On the up side, stuff is perfect, and you’ve got a beautiful story to tell yourself all the rest of your life.

Here’s hoping you find your magic getaway moment.  Whether it’s trying a new restaurant or moving to another country, I hope your story is wonderful.  And I can’t wait to hear it!

Love (and good night!) from:

The Fat Chick


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Thursday Theater: Dancing Queen

It is difficult to describe just how happy this video makes me. You guys already know I have a thing for videos featuring spontaneous dancing. But unlike this video, in which the girl clearly carefully set up her video camera or phone to capture the moment, the “Dancing Queen” video subject doesn’t seem to know she’s being recorded. She’s just rockin’ out because she feels like it. She’s simply gettin’ down with her bad self! I especially love the punches at :43 and 1:41, the sassy finger move at :51 and the collection of awesomeness at 1:50 and 2:07. It makes me so sad when she finally gets on the bus and it all comes to an end.

It makes me feel so hopeful that in this world of stigma and shame and hate, people still find a way to let their inner groove thing out. Because this sort of spontaneous expression, this is what so often dies when people are shamed. This is the bit of ourselves that learns to hide when the bullies come out. This is what we lose when we insist on using shame and bullying to try to make everyone’s body conform to a single impossible standard.

This loss of our sense of wonder and playfulness and spontaneous joy is one of the great costs of a society that bullies people. And that is why I am so excited to be participating in the Stop The Pain Anti Bullying Conference this Saturday in Riverside with the Size Diversity Task Force. I’ll be giving a speech called “All Bodies are GOOD Bodies–Learning to Love the Skin You’re In” and participating in a panel discussing bullying. The event is already sold out, and over 600 young people aged 12 to 20 are expected.

I am hoping that I can help in some small way to help young  people learn to protect themselves from those who would teach them to be less than, to stay under the radar, to go unnoticed.  And I hope in small way to help them stop bullying themselves and one another, so they can take that ability to dance and live fully in the moment from when they were very small,  grow up to start whole spontaneous dance parties like this guy, and still be dancing like this lady when they are old and grey.

Because at every time and at every age, I hope you dance.


The Fat Chick

P.S. Want me to come speak at your school, business or special event?  I speak on a wide range of topics related to fitness, self acceptance, bullying prevention, body love, Health At Every Size (R) and love your body week!  Click here or just send me an email to learn more!

Dance Like Nobody’s Watching–Even at the Airport

DanceLikeNobodyWatchingOkay, first you gotta watch the video.  Grab a cup of coffee and click the arrow.  It will only take a minute.

Wow, how cool is that?  We’ve all had the experience  of standing in the bloody baggage claim area after a long flight, watching that little belt go around, straining hopelessly to catch a glimpse of our long lost underwear.  But not this girl. Oh no.  She just put on some tunes and rocked out!

When was the last time you did something like that?  I think maybe it has been years and years for me.  I used to regularly engage in PAI (Public Acts of I-don’t-care-what-you-think).  When I was a kid, I was an endless source of humiliation for my poor sister.  I wore crazy hats.  I was kicked out of grocery stores.  My cousin regularly reminds me of how we used to ride around town in her convertible with the top down and me singing opera at the top of my lungs.

What happened?

Is it just because I’m older?  Have I grown wary and frightened?  Or is it because I got bigger?  Were I to dance around at the airport like that today, would people around mostly ignore me or smile gently like they do at the girl in the video?  Or would they hurl insults at me and call me names like they did a few months back at the restaurant?

But I often wonder if this is one of the most insidious repercussions for those of us who have been bullied.  How many insults can we endure before we shut down?  How many of us have had our bright, bright lights muted under bushel baskets for years and years because we have been traumatized, battered, and bruised by very public opinions about our bodies?  I continue to wonder about the squandering of those most precious resources.  Resources we desperately need in our society like energy, inspiration, spontaneity, creativity, courage and joy.  Can our world afford to throw these precious gifts away in order to sell more diet pills and gain more research funding for take home bulimia kits?  I don’t think it can.

So my friends, let’s see if we can’t find a way to get our collective mojo back.  I think exploring our inner child is a good start.  And so is collecting for radically awesome events like A Fatty Affair.  And joining fantastic groups like The Size Diversity Task Force can’t hurt either.  After being part of the SDTF, inspired me to shoot this video on a busy weekday at my local thrift store. I’m committed to doing whatever it takes.  Because hiding our light under a bushel basket doesn’t just diminish us personally, it deprives the world of our fantastic, glorious, gorgeous light, which is a crime against humanity.  So let’s see if we can’t find even more ways to pull those bushel baskets off and dance like nobody’s watching.


The Fat Chick

Stuff that Weighs More than Me: A Bicoastal Hot Flash Mob

Well y’all have been hearing about that bi-coastal Hot Flash Mob we did earlier this month and we finally have the video up for your to share in all it’s awesomeness.  But October has just been designated International Menopause Awareness Month so we’re still right on time, right!?

Special thanks go out to my partner Dr. Eve Agee, to my San Francisco dance leader the always fabulous Ragen Chastain and to my other West Coast Dancers Julianne Wotasik and Deb Burgard. Thanks from the bottom of my heart for coming out and being awesome.  And of course, thanks to all my New York City dancers as well.

Also, I wanted to let all you Southern California girls know that we’re going to be doing ANOTHER Hot Flash Mob at Huntington Beach as part of our Take Back The Beach celebrations this Saturday (tomorrow). Click HERE for more info.

As to the weight of the bi-coastal Hot Flash Mob, I had no scale (Yay! or otherwise) at the event and so some back-of-the-envelope calculations are in order. There were collectively quite a lot of us. I think I can safely say that together, we accumulated over one ton of fun.

Conclusion: A bicoastal Hot Flash Mob weighs more than me. (And it’s too much fun to be contained in one place!)


The Fat Chick

Smart Enough to Laugh at Myself?

The other day I saw this picture and I laughed out loud. I mean clearly this is a picture of a smart dude. This guy is one of the greatest theoretical scientists like, ever. There is no doubt that his contribution to science is epic. But here he is wearing big, fluffy, fuzzy slippers and clearly having a bit of a laugh about himself. And I thought, yup Einstein was a smart guy. He was even smart enough to laugh at himself.

And it made me think. I used to laugh at myself all the time. I used to wear big floppy hats in public and sing out loud in convertibles and dance on the sidewalk and wear men’s clothing sometimes just for the heck of it. I dared the universe to look at me funny. I just did what I felt like and told the world they could like it or lump it.

But somewhere along the way, I think I got a little too serious about myself. I started worrying a lot more about what people might think of me. I bought nice clothes—sometimes because I liked them, but also as protective coloring to allow me to blend in. I got quieter and smaller. I tried to be less a target.

But now, as I get older, I’ve gotten bolder. I’ve got pictures of me in feather boas with the words “The Fat Chick” underneath. I wear purple. I smile big. I dance in public. Because I’m learning again not to take myself quite so seriously. I’m relearning how to laugh at myself.

So my little chicklettes, I dare you to do something loud and crazy and goofy today! Put on a big floppy hat. Sing out loud in a convertible with the top down. Dance on the beach. Weave flowers in your hair. Feel the freedom of having a little giggle at yourself.


The Fat Chick