Experiential Learning Assignment
Due December 9,2014
RDT Strength and Technique class (4 hours)
For my first experience I volunteered to teach a strength and technique class for the Salem State Reparatory Dance Theater club. Normally I do teach dance but not necessarily this type of class. The classes I’m use to teaching are more choreography based rather than actual strength training for dancers. Also I mostly teach private sessions and this class was a large group. I choose this opportunity as my first four hours because it challenged me to make a proper training plan, adjust to a large group setting, and focus on proper explanation and cueing techniques for the dancers. I had to research proper techniques and different exercises that focused on the muscles I wanted to target in order to improve the dancers technical ability.
This class ran every Friday from 4-6 pm in the Salem State O’Keefe dance studio for the fall semester. I was surprised to find out that I wasn’t as good at explaining my movements as I originally thought. I had difficulty expressing the workouts to the group in an effective way. When first offering to teach the class I never thought I would have a difficult time expressing how to do a workout. After the first class I realized some of the students had a hard time understanding the proper body mechanics for each exercise. When it came to a large group setting I found that it was more difficult to explain exactly what I was looking for. I was use to the one on one interaction with my private sessions. It is easier to pin point what the client is doing incorrectly and how to properly do the workout when you’re only focused on that one person. When it came to the large group, I had to explain it on a broader spectrum. It limited my ability to correct each person individually, so I had to find a way to communicate what I was looking for so they could try and correct themselves. Practicing my communication every week with a new workout or stretch really improved my ability of effective communication for the subject matter. I was also able to practice creating workouts. As the class progressed through the semester I found it easier and was faster at creating a workout. I became more knowledgeable of the material as well as more comfortable. I trusted myself to know and create new exercises rather than looking up each and everyone every week.
I would love to be a strength and conditioning coach for dancers as a future career. It combines my career path and my hobby into something I can do at a gym or studio. I learned to be a better communicator and I actually learned a lot about my own strength and training as a dancer.
Occupational Therapy Shadow (4 hours)
My second experience included two shifts at a pediatric healthcare center called Project CHILLD. Project CHILLD offers occupational therapy, speech therapy, integrated sound therapy, and neurofeedback. I shadowed occupational therapist, Kristi Fender. Kristi began her career as an Occupational Therapist at a Level 1 Acute Trauma Center located in Boston. There she worked on the neurological, cardiac, and orthopedic services. Kristi has also worked as a travelling therapist in Texas, New Mexico, and Colorado. In 2010, Kristi settled back in the Northeast and began working on a brain injury unit in an acute rehabilitation facility, which was established for adolescents and young adults. I decided to shadow an OT because after finishing my Bachelors degree in Exercise Science, I would like to earn my Masters degree in Occupational Therapy. I choose to shadow Kristi because of her background working as a traveling therapist, this is something I am interested in doing.
Both of my shifts were with the same client. He is a 7 year old autistic boy. We were working on strengthening his muscles so he can do his activities of daily living more efficiently. Tasks such as buttoning a shirt, hopping on