Our next featured member in the “5 Questions With…” column is our Student Committee Chair, Amanda Clark. Her areas of interest include dancer wellness, health, and education. Amanda will be graduating from Case Western Reserve University with an MFA in Contemporary Dance this May.
-How did you first get interested in dance science/medicine?
I chose to read Sally Fitt’s Dance Kinesiology textbook for a free reading assignment in my sophomore English class and once I finished the book I went to my favorite Science teacher and said “I know what I want to do when I grow up. I want to be a Dance Medicine Specialist.” He looked at me and said “What does that mean?” and I responded “I’m not quite sure. I’m not quite sure how I’ll get there, where I should study or what I should study, but I’m going to make it happen; I’ll call you when I do.” I loved dancing and knew I couldn’t stop doing what I was passionate about, but also had a passion for science and said “Yes! This is it!” I’ve been enjoying every step of my professional journey since that day.
-Are you currently participating in research? Can you give us your elevator pitch about your research area?
I presented the current iterations of my research that I have been participating in for the past two and a half years at the Annual Meeting in Basel, Switzerland. I hope to continue to finesse my study on attitudes and perceptions related to wellness screening and plan to publish in the future. My research is qualitative, and I am ever-curious about environmental & cultural effects on dancers’ attitudes and perceptions related to various health and wellness activities.
-Which annual meeting has been your favorite so far and why?
My favorite annual meeting was the 22nd Annual Meeting in Singapore. It will always hold a special place with me because it was my first experience as an IADMS member. I had heard about the organization through my undergraduate studies and always looked forward to the opportunity to join, attend the AM, and to hear what others in the field of Dance Medicine & Science are doing. It helped me realize how wide-spread yet close the community is. I was able to meet other student members, make new connections, and pick professionals’ brains. The innovations, findings, and studies that were presented helped me figure out what pathway I want to go down as a professional.
-What is the best thing about being a student member of IADMS?
Being able to connect with and network with such a range of intelligent and creative individuals is great. Having resources available like the Educational Opportunities Document, the forums on the IADMS website, and social media connections to other students and young professionals from around the world make me feel like if I have any questions, want to connect with another student for research, or anything else I might need, I can get answers, discussion, and connected.
-What would you say to a student thinking of joining IADMS?
You should definitely join IADMS. The benefits are wonderful, the people are kind, the presentations at the Annual Meetings are inspiring, and the student committee is ever-helpful.
If you are interested in the Student Committee and its initiatives, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Special thanks to the “5 Questions With...” sub-committee, Andrea Alvarez and Siobhan Mitchell.