In our continuing effort to playfully challenge stereotypes, we present Lindsay!
Lindsay: When I started to become serious about dance, I became very interested and in tune with how the body works and I wanted to know more about the physiology behind it. My passion inspired me to learn more about the science: why and how my body moves. Science fascinates me!
S.C.: What is Kinesiology and what turned you on to this field?
Lindsay: Great question! We had shirts made up in our department with the definition of Kinesiology on them because we were asked this question so frequently! Kinesiology, by definition, is the study of human movement. The practice of Kinesiology involves the assessment of movement, performance, and function to maintain, enhance, and rehabilitate the body in the areas of sport, recreation, work, exercise, and general activities of daily living. I was turned on to this field at my initial college orientation meeting, when I debating whether or not I wanted to become a dance or an education major. The department of Kinesiology made a small presentation at the meeting and I knew right away that this was the field for me! It is so relevant to everyone, not just athletes. We ALL move, just in different ways!
S.C.: Do you find that your looks (or being a former cheerleader) helped or hindered your studies or professional experiences? Were you taken seriously?
Lindsay: In any professional atmosphere, one needs to set the tone for how they will be accepted professionally and prove themselves to be capable and competent. There are many stereotypes out there and it is up to each individual to overcome that and use what you have to your advantage. I was told in my senior year of college that it was highly recommended that I put the dance/cheer world aside to focus on my work study program. I saw this as a personal challenge and it pushed me to work even harder in both aspects of my life and find that happy balance to pursue both. Representing a professional sports organization has definitely made me more polished all around and has helped my other career endeavors.
S.C.: Tell me a little about your favorite courses you took to prepare for your degree in Kinesiology and teaching degree in Physical Education and Health Science.
Lindsay: My favorite courses were sports psychology classes that involved understanding the psychological/mental factors that affect performance in sports and activities and ways to combine the kinesthetic factor with the mind. I also enjoyed my exercise physiology classes, as well at the different activity courses that opened up my mind to new and fun ways to exercise!
S.C.:Do you have any advice for middle or high school girls who might feel torn between following one dream (cheerleading or dancing) associated with beauty or following another (science/medicine) usually associated with, well, geeks? 🙂
Lindsay: My advice would be that you do NOT have to choose. I have yet to see a “Pom Pom Prohibition” sign in a lab! Be yourself. We are each blessed with special gifts and talents that bring fulfillment and joy into our lives. Embrace your special qualities and shape your life accordingly. I live by the quote, “Some pursue happiness, others create it.” There is only one chance at this life; make it your challenge to find a way to balance all the things in your life that make you happy.
S.C.: Best cheerleading experience?
Lindsay: I am so fortunate for all the amazing experiences I have had as a dancer/cheerleader. In 2007, I was chosen to represent the Philadelphia Soul as a member of Aaron’s AFL Dream Team. Dancers from different cities traveled to New Orleans to dance in the Arena Bowl. Following the devastating Hurricane Katrina, the AFL set us up with opportunities to give back and help the victims of this tragedy, rebuild playgrounds, and make the people in the surrounding communities smile. It was such a humbling and touching memory and it really put things into perspective. Sharing your gifts to make other people happy is so important and meaningful and that trip is something I will cherish forever.
S.C.: Best science-related experience?
Lindsay: My best science experiences are tied to my teaching profession. I love seeing the look on the faces of my students when they have an “a-ha” moment and discover the scientific reason behind something. I love answering their kid-friendly questions and can’t help but smile with the (cute) terminology they use. Children have a special way of turning a complicated theory into very simplistic and relative terms. It is refreshing to see the excitement that young minds at work can generate.
S.C.: Anything you’d like to add that you want people to know?
Lindsay: Just that “Happiness depends upon ourselves…” I do what I do because I love it and I hope it shows in my daily interactions and my work. I plan on continuing my involvement in the dance and cheer world, as well as my teaching career, and hopefully pursue my masters degree is Sports Psychology in the future. Never stop learning!
S.C.: What is your current position?
Lindsay: I am a Health and Physical Education Teacher at a private school in California, specializing in children with hearing impairments. I am also a choreographer for different junior dance teams for the sports industry across the country; work as a consultant for aspiring professional cheerleaders and dancers; and I am a teacher at Pure Barre studio.
S.C.: Which team(s) did you cheer for and when?
I was a member and captain of the Philadelphia Soul Arena Football Team from 2004-2007 (Yes, Bon Jovi’s team!) 😉