SLU PT Students Write About How Dance Influenced Their Passion for Physical Therapy
Libby Ramm (SLU DPT Class of 2023)
Like most dancers who go on to study physical therapy, my passion for physical therapy developed the first time I got injured. I never thought that something like snapping hip syndrome could expose me to a lifelong passion and my future career. Most kids don't know what they want to pursue a career when they are 13, so when I proudly told my parents that I wanted to be a PT, I'm sure they thought that was going to change. 5/6 years later when applying to colleges, that never changed. Being a dancer, I was taught to think critically about every movement and every body shape I saw in the mirror. This taught me to see the body as an instrument; a functional system that was capable of incredible things. A bag of skin, bones, and muscles that helps me express emotion and be an artist. I believe that my respect for the incredible things a body can do is what led me to find interest in physical therapy. With the more I learn about all of the things my body is constantly doing to keep me alive and to allow me to exist, I grow more and more fascinated with it. Becoming injured for the first (of many) time brought me to a crossroads between dance and science; exactly where I found my passion in life.
Alexis Ardovitch (SLU DPT Class of 2021)
As a dancer, I feel as though I have an additional perspective to provide to my physical therapy education and future intervention. I believe that dancing has really allowed me to understand my body, and it has allowed me to understand movement. As movement specialists, physical therapists need to have a great knowledge about how people move through space. As a dancer, I have a great understanding for how my body moves in space. This provides me with a perspective that cannot necessarily be taught in the classroom, and I believe it is an advantage when it comes to becoming a movement specialist. Additionally, dance has allowed me to understand my body and the different ways in which I can make it move. Before I became a physical therapy student, it was still in my best interest to understand which muscles performed what action in order to understand a specific movement and or to heal an injury. Now that I am studying physical therapy as a dancer, I already have an understanding of how my body works. Ultimately, my passion for the human body is the common thread that weaves through my love for dance and for physical therapy. As my future career as a physical therapist approaches, I have an increasing desire to work with performing arts athletes. Why not combine my two passions into a career?
Photos submitted by Alexis Ardovitch.