Center Stage with Jenna Mao

The WoMed


We are talking with Jenny. Moe Hello everybody and Jenna is a board certified dance movement therapist and counsellor. How did all of that come about? It has been a long journey for sure. So leave it. When I was in. Undergrad I was one of those kids that was undecided forever. I changed my major like six different times but one constant throughout all of my education when I was at the University of Wisconsin was that I was always involved in the dance program in some sort of way. Yeah I grew up dancing and I had always wanted to continue it in some sort of a way but I never really knew where I wanted to take it. I didn't feel like I could be a professional like doing some sort of performance career. I didn't like I wanted to teach it but it was always a passion in something that I really really loved doing so when I was like midway through. I think they'd be like my sophomore year. One of my professors was Meeting with me and she said you know you strike me as somebody that might be interested in this crazy. Field called dance and movement therapy. That's so wild. I know and I was so so fortunate. Because at the University of Wisconsin they had a certificate program in dance therapy which is typically unheard of being. Huzzah all of the education. If you're going to become dance. Therapist is at the master's Level. Okay so we actually had a dance therapist. Who taught a handful of courses at the undergraduate level so that there were people that were interested in the field they could get like a little taste of what it was like and then they can decide from there if they wanted to go on to graduate school to actually like pursue all of the education and degree requirements? It takes to become a dance therapist so I give that a shot and absolutely fell in love with it and I only thing was convinced that this is something that I wanted to do. And so then it took us so from there. I did two years of graduate school and so I was from there so fortunate to them behind shared at my job right currently and at right now which is working as a dance therapist in a children's hospital which is also a children's hospital that I used to work out in Wisconsin Little known fact Jenas. Actually my cousin there is. There's no nepotism on this podcast. Never heard of that as a career and I just think it's so awesome that you are able to take something that you've always loved so much I mean we. We grew up dancing together in the same studio and you were actually able to make a career out of it and that's so frigging awesome legs so in where Little Okay. So we do. A thing called a lubrication warm up question And it's usually just something funny but for you. I was like you know I feel like everyone who finds that. I'm a Nikki nurse. They're like Oh my God. It must be so nice to sit around and hope eighties all day. Yes so as a dance therapist once people find out what your job title is. What's the first thing they ask you? Oh what they ask me is More so along the lines of like. Oh you're done must be so fun I would love that. Can you come to that for the staff? Oh My Gosh. And which would also become a cool. I would totally love it and I think there's there's very real benefits in providing some therapy for staff in a hospital system because yeah I'm sure amount of research so high exactly like everybody who is familiar with the system in any sort of a aspect is just very very aware of how grueling and demanding it is to gas gently be serving others and yeah others in very fragile states so there is there is definitely some validity to that. Don't get me wrong ray. I think what is hard for people to recognize? Is that while the therapy type. Isn't like what you're traditionally used to like your Ling. Talk therapist or your counselors psychologists. There is real therapy. Work being done in our sessions. It just doesn't happen through sitting in chairs and discussing everything right. We use our bodies and movements and sometimes yes dancing to communicate what's happening with us and to process the whole experience and to find healing in that way. I. This is so incredible because I don't know if if there are many people that grow up with with like dance background but you know even people that just go to club and dance. You know you're still expressing yourself through movement but when I just remember in my ballet ballet primarily there's something that just comes over you when you're moving and you can't if you've had a bad day you might like dance a little harder or if you're feeling a certain way like it's it's so hard to explain that like unless you're dancer that feeling that just kind of like it's like electricity. That moves her. You're right when you just said it. It's a feeling it's your belt since it's all of all of what you can't put into words so this is exactly why dance. Therapy is so so beneficial's because sometimes people don't have the words especially working with kids. They might even have the vocabulary to lay articulate. Exactly what is going on for them? So if I'm working with you and you can show me with your body. That's what I'm trained it. I'm trained to see and observe various things in your facial expression or the way that you're gesturing or the way that you're carrying yourself or sitting and then I can help you work through that because sometimes we don't always have the words for one. Oh I lose on this podcast all the time. If I could dance out this podcast you might be more entertaining for some people. I don't know I've lost some dance. Get you know. But it's okay. It's okay it's just about it's that communicating about how you feel and what's going on for you in the moment it. It's not a performance. It's not the show like there's never an end product it's always a process oriented experience of that I'm just so excited that I get to learn more about what you do and I'm so grateful to be here because it. It is one of those fields where we've been established sense like early nineteen sixties and. It's definitely growing and always evolving. And I think what is so great about me being able to come and talk with you about this and let more people know that and get more awareness is that we can work in a medical setting right. And that's I think a really unique Lake Niche For dance therapists to be an. It's really common for other therapists to work in like Rehab centers or school settings or inpatient psych hospitals or outpatient clinics. But the medical reminded of if anyone ever saw girl interrupted and the class and the girl sitting there. And she's like you're a tree Janice your tree and I won't stand up Dan. Okay sorry segue relevant but yeah you know so so. Medical Dance and movement therapy is definitely a a newer and less known about. Yeah little you know subset of all the great work that other dance therapists are doing around the nation. That's so cool and I think When I worked at a children's Hospital Wisconsin. I mean obviously I was in the Nikki like we don't have dance therapy in there. We have more speech. Therapists Occupational Physical Therapist But I remember when I start God when I started. It was like two thousand. Seven was a long time ago But during orientation you know they have everyone in there. They have Nikki nurses they have nurses in different units on the hospital and just learning about everything that was offered at children's was incredible. I mean like I knew. They offered like tutoring and classes and stuff. But I didn't know that this was a form of therapy. The multidisciplinary support that is being offered in our hospital currently. But I'm sure in lots of other paediatric facilies is something. That's ordered huge like doc. Yeah in order. Yeah well so we're a concept based service okay go Any sort of physician nurses nurse Practitioners Social Workers. Pretty much anybody that has access to the medical chart and put in a request for myself or any other member of my team to go and provide support for

Coming up next