Elon Performing Arts professors, students and athletic trainer attend and present at Dance Medicine Conference

The conference, held Oct. 4, at the Wake Forest School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, N.C., was attended by 15 from Elon.

The 2nd annual City of Arts and Innovation Dance Medicine Conference took place at Wake Forest School of Medicine on Oct. 4, 2019.

Assistant Professor Renay Aumiller, Associate Professor Jen Guy Metcalf and Performing Arts Athletic Trainer Ethan Williams attended the conference with twelve students from the Dance Science and Dance Performance & Choreography programs. They attended lectures, demonstrations, movement sessions, panel discussions, research presentations and performances.

Emily Patterson ’20 presented a solo that was performed by Mariel Loughlin ’20. “Dancing my whole life led me to have a strong interest in the anatomy and kinesthetics of the body, so seeing my two areas of study intersect in a professional setting was an amazing experience,” Patterson said.

Loughlin had the opportunity to be an assistant to Dr. Kathleen Davenport during her presentation “High Yield PE for Dancers.” Davenport is the company physician for Miami City Ballet and is on the board of directors for the International Association for Dance Medicine and Science. “It is inspiring to experience this as a student hoping to come into the field as I have first-hand experience learning with these professionals.”

Aumiller led a practical/movement session titled “The Liberated Spine.” Her workshop demonstrated an embodied experience of anatomy and biomechanics of the spine.

The conference was attended by medical professionals, athletic trainers, physical therapists, occupational therapists, dance educators and students. The presenters came from Elon University, Wake Forest University, High Point University, University of California—Irvine, Moravian College, University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Memorial Rehabilitation Institute, Boston Children’s Hospital sand Harkness Center for Dance Injuries.

“Learning about the all the research people have done on dancers’ health has inspired me to conduct my own research study,” Alyssa Degler ’21.

Madeleine Spence (B.S. ’22) said, “I am so grateful the Dance Science program was able to support us in attending. I left feeling inspired and excited for the future of dance medicine.”

Everyone is looking forward to the conference next year.