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By: Kristen Fuelling, FWDC Outreach Intern

In many cases, the word ‘intern’ may lead to thoughts of going on coffee runs, filing papers, or tediously inputting data into a spreadsheet.  While there is nothing wrong with these tasks, it would be a nightmare to find an internship where you didn’t actually learn anything worthwhile.  Luckily for me, I found one that has taught me more than I thought possible, with the Fort Wayne Dance Collective.

My name is Kristen Fuelling, and I am the health-oriented intern from Ball State University this semester!  I will be graduating in May with a bachelor’s degree in Health Science, and an accompanying business minor in Foundations of Management.  The 360-hour internship I’m currently completing is my last school requirement before I walk across that stage in just a couple of months.  It has been especially exciting for me to spend my time at FWDC because I grew up dancing, competing, and I even taught at my studio throughout high school.

To coincide with the curriculum of my major, most of what I am doing relates to the Dance for Health and Dance for Disabilities programs.  These are two outreach programs that serve individuals of all ages and abilities, in order to promote a better sense of well-being.  While I do spend a lot of my time doing administrative tasks at my desk at FWDC, these outreach programs have taken me all over the area: to my old high school, in numerous units throughout various Parkview locations, in assisted living communities, and even back onstage!

One of the great parts about interning here is that it’s not only a learning experience, but also both enjoyable and rewarding!  The staff here all do a little bit of everything, including me.  This makes things more exciting, as no two days look exactly the same.  This structure has also allowed me to gain insight in a variety of areas and to see different faces all the time.  I love the idea of using dance in so many ways for expression, coping, and healing, and being able to see up-close the physical, mental, and social benefits has made this experience so worthwhile.

I look forward to making the most of the rest of my internship and seeing what else I can get thrown into during the next two months!  Then, I’ll have to enter the real world… but if you see me before then, don’t be afraid to say hi!