The Portuguese MS Society (SPEM) is mobilising thousands of people to put on their dancing shoes and join an advocacy campaign with a difference in the run-up to this year’s National MS Day. From now until 4th December, SPEM is calling upon people with MS, family members, caregivers, and the public to try out four different dance routines and share videos of themselves performing the moves with SPEM, in order to raise public awareness of MS.
Celebrated for more than 20 years, National MS Day marks SPEM’s anniversary and aims to raise awareness among the public, employers and governments about the needs of, and challenges faced by, people affected by MS.
This year’s bold, collective action, named ‘Portugal dances vs MS’, is designed to share an empowering message that highlights the incredible capabilities of people with disabilities, fights prejudice and promotes social integration.
Make some noise
‘We are trying to make some noise around MS and bring people to our cause’, explained Susana Protásio, vice-president of SPEM. ‘It’s essential for us to have backing from the community to promote and protect acceptance of people with MS.’
The four routines were choreographed by ‘Ritmos Urbanos’, a group that often works with SPEM on vibrant street dance and flash mob events. For the soundtrack, SPEM secured the rights to feature the hit song ‘Naptel Xulima’ from popular funk and soul band HMB, who offered their enthusiastic support for the campaign.
SPEM is mobilising people across Portugal to take part with a series of teaser videos and tutorials on social media. Once the entries are in, a panel of experts and celebrities will choose the best performers and reward the lucky individuals with tickets to cultural and sporting events. The campaign will culminate in the release of a special video featuring the winning videos on National MS Day.