One of the fantastic things about being in Columbia’s Dance/Movement Therapy and Counseling MA program is the opportunity to get involved in the student organization MOVED. This week I interviewed Julie Brannen, President of MOVED and second year DMT & C student at Columbia, to explain more about the organization and what it has in store for this year.
What is the MOVED organization?
M.O.V.E.D. is a student organization housed under Columbia College Chicago’s Student Engagement umbrella. The members typically include current students in the Dance/Movement Therapy and Counseling Department master’s program, although they are not obligated to be involved. Standing for Masters Organization Volunteering to Educate about Dance/Movement Therapy, our mission is to inform the Chicago greater community about the field of Dance/Movement Therapy (DMT). It is one of the seven graduate student organizations, so it is a little different ball game than undergraduate organizations. From my experience, we are dealing more directly with professional development because it goes hand-in-hand with our current education.
Can you tell us about events that the organization has been involved in putting together?
In the past, I know MOVED has done many community events as well as gotten involved with Columbia’s Student Organization Council (SOC) campus events. This years’ Executive Board and I wanted to keep this trend going. So far, we have participated in the SOC’s Random Acts of Kindness week, where we made baked goods and encouragement notes and handed them to students, faculty, and random Chicago patrons. Elise Moore (MOVED Member) and Meghan Murphy-Sanchez (Former MOVED Secretary) presented at the Pritzker School of Medicine about DMT this past spring. Eva Glaser (MOVED VP) and Mallory Ingram (MOVED Treasurer) volunteered to mentor a middle school student for the SPARK mentorship program. The organization as a whole put on its own interpretation of International Dance Day in April by sporting the mantra “Have you danced today?” while dancing in Millennium Park and raising awareness about DMT. We continue to brainstorm ideas of how we can engage with current students at Columbia and how we can get out into the community to let people know who we are.
Can you tell me about the MOVED Concert that will be coming up in November?
Yes, we are very excited about this event! This will be the second annual concert. Last year was a great success—we ended up having standing room only in the theatre. It is completely student produced and run, although both students and faculty are encouraged to submit choreographic work. Our goal for this show is to promote creativity among our members and to continue to embrace the artist side of becoming a therapist. DMT is a creative arts therapy at the end of the day—both aspects are necessary. I believe that if you are engaging in a creative process, then it allows life to be more open, attainable, and enjoyable. It is a great way to cope with this little thing called grad school. This year, we are having the concert at Hamlin Park Fieldhouse Theatre on November 30th at 7pm.
What is your favorite part about being on the MOVED executive board?
That I get to work with such amazing women! The other members of the Executive Board are wonderfully versed at what they do, and they keep me in check. I tend to be a lets-do-it-all-we-have-time type of girl, and I know this is unrealistic. I am honored to work with the other four women that are on my team. We brainstorm, create, argue, and make up to get things done and to figure things out. Even though my title is President, I truly cannot do this job alone.
How do you think being a part of MOVED has benefited you as a Dance/Movement Therapy & Counseling student?
Being a part of MOVED has benefited me in the most essential way. As a student, it has allowed for me to put things into perspective about my future career. I have been exposed to the so-called ‘market’ that we eventually will delve into when looking for a job. I have found that not very many people are educated about this field, and it is our job to constantly blaze the trail and be prepared to talk about what we do as clinicians, artists, and leaders. This is great practice for what I will potentially be doing in the next chapter of my life, the ‘getting a job’ chapter. Also, it has allowed me to truly own what I am learning as knowledge and be able to represent the students, department, and college in a professional way.