Graduating dance science majors Samantha Meyer and Anastasia Thue heading to physical therapy school immediately after gradution.
Two Elon students receiving bachelor's degrees in dance science have been accepted into graduate programs for physical therapy.
Samantha Meyer '19 and Anastasia Thue '19 will begin their programs in early June. With different prior experience under their belts, the women will both pursue individual research focuses in their post-graduate careers.
Meyer starts New York Medical College on June 3. She is pursuing a doctorate degree in physical therapy. She has danced most of her life, but was extremely injury prone, meaning she would have to sit out of classes and go to physical therapy three times per week for recovery training. This repetitive physical therapy experience made her interested in the career. Meyer originally wanted to go into dance physical therapy but now is interested in researching the benefits physical therapy has on patients with neurological diseases.
Meyer is currently a teaching and learning apprentice for Somatic Theories I-II, a first year dance science course focusing on studying the ways in which the body moves. She is appreciative that the professor allows her to use her experience in physical therapy to comment on techniques they are learning in class. Over the past few summers, she has interned for Connecticut Dance Physical Therapy where she learned never to tell a patient to stop dancing, because she can see how important it is to them.
Her advice to anyone interested in applying to physical therapy school would be that “less is more.” She applied to 15 schools and made her decision after getting into the first four she heard from. She advises current undergraduates to thoroughly research schools and decide which ones match your interests prior to applying. Then apply only to the couple of schools you love most.
Thue is a dance performance and choreography and dance science double major and will be going to Emory University on June 5 to receive her doctorate in physical therapy. She first became interested in physical therapy when she sprained her ankle while dancing in high school and was treated by a physical therapist who used to be a dancer. It has since been her goal to become a physical therapist for a ballet company. Thue has had many internship opportunities throughout her Elon career including working with Los Angeles Ballet Physical Therapy, Torrance Memorial Medical Center, Duke Sports Medicine Physical Therapy and Patty Brown Physical Therapy. These experiences have greatly benefitted her by making connections for her in the field, seeing dance physical therapy in action, and by providing the necessary hours of experience needed on applications to graduate school. Thue would also like to use her degree to pursue dance physical therapy, teach dance and become a certified yoga instructor. She says that being a double major and preparing for graduate school is tough, but she advises interested students not to get overwhelmed. If you start planning in your first year and take summer classes, the double major is do-able and rewarding.
Both students expressed great gratitude for the dance science program, saying the unique major helped them stand out when applying to schools. Meyer loved “how she was able to combine her love of science while making dance classes part of her curriculum.” The students both mentioned how beneficial Lauren Kearns, the chair of the Performing Arts Department and Professor of Dance was when assisting them with research, applying to schools and internships, and allowing them to test their knowledge by adding anatomical and physical therapy perspectives in her classes.