Ambassador Spotlight: April Dudash

COVID-19 can’t stop the music! April Dudash, Internal Communications Manager at Duke Regional Hospital, has been hosting virtual dance parties over lunch for the past few months. Café DJ Zoom has been a massive hit, delivering a rhythm-inducing respite to Duke team members during their shifts.

We spoke with “DJ Dudash” about music, well-being, and tips for virtual events.

What inspired you to host these virtual dance parties?

The pandemic has changed the way we work – We’re all constantly signing into Zoom meetings to collaborate. But I noticed at the start of Zoom meetings, everyone was signing into meetings in silence. I thought, how much more fun would it be if I played a song, to make people smile or boogie in their chairs for a minute or two, before we got started? Music helps me reset and energizes me, and I’ve found that just playing one high-energy song does the same for others.

How do you use music to support your personal well-being?

I’ll regularly play music when I’m working on projects at the computer, at home and at work, even getting up for mini dance breaks to stretch every hour. From “Love Shack” to Lady Gaga’s new “Chromatica” album to the “Hamilton” soundtrack, my weird playlist brings me so much joy.

Do you have any tricks for getting the best playback over Zoom?

Honestly, I just unmute myself before the meeting starts and play Spotify from my computer. I have a “Café DJ Zoom” Spotify playlist that I’m constantly adding to, with my own song favorites and with song requests from teammates. I’ll fade out by slowly lowering the volume when the meeting’s starting.

Can you share with us your current top 5 party anthems?

Oh wow. Loaded question. I don’t know if I can stick to five. These always seem to be the top crowd favorites and repeat requests:

    • I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me) – Whitney Houston
    • Uptown Funk (feat. Bruno Mars) – Mark Ronson
    • We Are Family – Sister Sledge
    • Happy – Pharrell Williams
    • Can’t Stop the Feeling – Justin Timberlake
    • Groove is in the Heart – Deee-Lite
    • Shut Up and Dance – Walk the Moon

Listen to these chart toppers any time with this YouTube playlist.