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University of Southern California
University of Southern California
USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
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OT Dance Party

Alyssa


by Alyssa

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Classes Getting Involved

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I’ve been teaching Zumba at the USC Village Gym since Fall 2018. As an extrovert who struggles to prioritize exercising, it has been a win-win. I am obligated to get myself to the gym and energized from both the exercise and the social time. Especially with how challenging graduate classes can be, it is a much needed reset to my week every Tuesday.

So, what does this have to do with OT?

This week in OT 534 Health Promotion & Wellness we had a “wellness workshop” day where students got to facilitate and attend different occupation-based activity groups to promote personal wellness. When we got the sign-ups to facilitate a group, I signed up right away. Bringing Zumba to OT school!

My fellow students submitted their preferences and were assigned to different workshops to attend during class time (some of the other options were cookie baking, songwriting, and vision boarding 😮).

Given that dancing in classrooms filled with tables and chairs would not be ideal, we had to improvise for the space. We were out facing the elements on the lawn (muddy uneven grass, an unexpectedly hot November day) with a small speaker and a lot of funny looks from people walking by. But still, I had a blast, and based on all the laughing at/with me & each other, I think the participants did too. It was such a fun chance to share one of my favorite occupations with my friends, especially those who have never done it before. Dr. Cox stopped by during the workshop and thought I was putting up a “fight on ✌️” while dancing… truthfully I was just indicating that the move should be done twice, but hey — two birds one stone.

OT students dancing on the lawn

2nd year Entry-Level MA students participating in the Zumba workshop. Photo by Silvia Hernandez Cuellar

Even though I did not get to participate in the other activities, I loved how Wellness Workshop day highlighted how seemingly random skills could be an asset for OT’s role in health promotion. What other career path has a place for backgrounds in dance and martial arts and songwriting and cooking and crafting? I mean, OTD Resident John J. Lee even facilitated a Squid Games competition. Opportunities for wellness are everywhere — you never know what skills your colleagues will bring to the table!

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