Mentor: Dr. Jill Sonke
College of Fine Arts
"Due to my unique goals and future career path, I hope to make a stand and make my voice heard about the healing power of dance therapy. I want to make an impact on patients' lives through the art of dance. My goals are to continue with balancing my dance classes with my prerequisites for PT school while also working on my research with lymphedema patients. I hope to learn how I can fit the needs of lymphedema patients through dance, specifically the Gaga dance technique that I learned and experienced intensively this past summer."
Dance in Healing
- Physical therapy school
- Physical therapy specializing with dancers
- Dean's List
- University Scholars, April 2012
- Phi Sigma Pi Honors Fraternity
- Gator Wesley Foundation
- Zumba Instructor at UF Recsports
- PT Shadowing (Florida Hospital Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation, Jewett Orthopedics, Shand's Orthopedic Institute, Shand's Inpatient PT in Cardiovascular and Pediatric Unit
- Shand's Arts in Medicine: Dance for Life
Hobbies and Interests
Dance/Movement Program for Breast Cancer Patients Diagnosed with Lymphedema
Through the University Scholars Program at the University of Florida, the Undergraduate Research Assistant proposes this research project to develop a dance technique class specifically for breast cancer patients who are diagnosed with lymphedema. Lymphedema is a major long-term complication in swelling of the arm, which can result from removal of the lymph nodes (Love, 1995). The cohesive harmony of dance and health has been and still is applied at Shands Arts in Medicine’s program called Dance for Life: a weekly dance class designed for patients with Parkinson’s disease. Lymphedema patients can also find health improvement by creating a similar, yet revised, program solely for their needs. This revised and reinforced technique is inspired by an Israeli dance style called Gaga, an innovative movement technique that is frequently utilized at the UF School of Theatre and Dance that focuses on sensation verses reflection. The Researcher Assistant takes what she has learned this past summer and draw conclusions of how it can help pain reduction and quality of life for patients with lymphedema. Findings are documented if improvements occur such as range of motion, loss or gain in swelling, and rate of overall well-being. Data collection and analysis help to develop and set a dance technique fit for lymphedema patients, or else, the technique and/or specific movements that were tried in class should be changed when statistics do not show progression and/or patient satisfaction is not adequate. Research from this study promotes inspiration for patients to start or continue regular exercise for decrease of symptoms and everyday quality of life.