I danced recreationally (Ballet, Tap, Modern, Jazz) throughout my school years at “Let’s Dance School of Dance”. When I left school I went to Harrison College to continue my dancing and gain my ISTD teaching qualifications (“Associate” exams they were called then!). I have these in Ballet, Tap and Modern. I had applied to study Physiotherapy at University of East Anglia prior to leaving school, but had deferred my entry so I could spend the year getting my Associates. I started teaching dancing as an assistant while I was at school, increasing the hours during my training and continued to teach the odd dance class when I was studying Physiotherapy to help fund my studies and to keep my hand in!
Once graduated in 2001, I choreographed and performed in a few amateur dramatics and semi-professional shows and returned to regular evening teaching in addition to my daily Physiotherapy work. For a bit of fun (!) I studied AS-Level Dance for a year too! I still teach children once per week, prepare them for ISTD dance exams and choreograph for their shows as well as working part-time as a Physiotherapy Specialist (and a very full-time Mum to 3 children!). Next week, I’m lecturing to a group of dance teachers about dance injuries and physiotherapy – mixing it all together!
Surprising number of links between the two professions
I would suggest that my observation skills that started to develop when watching dancing and the way the body moves, are essential to my Physiotherapy role now. Also my understanding of the excitement, commitment and passion for performing is hugely useful when treating patients from a creative or sporting background with a similar psyche. Understanding the way the body moves and the ability to isolate movement is hugely helpful when trying to explain to patients how to achieve certain movements and carry out exercises. My role also involves presenting and teaching and therefore being able to stand up in front of an audience and use my drama skills too! I think that there are a surprising number of links between the two professions that complement each other and if you have an interest in helping others and want to do so, the other skills and experiences that you bring from other areas of life are all a bonus!