Marginalia, Graduate Blog


Chelsie Batko

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Finals time is finally here and in the midst of all the final papers and tests I have taken a break to reflect on my first year of being a part of the program.  Though the past year has been very challenging, I wouldn’t have changed it one bit…well…maybe I would have tried a little harder to avoid a couple all nighters working on papers–but that’s about it!  The beautiful thing about this program is that it promotes the very essence of our work as future therapists–Change.  For example, I have learned the importance of getting a good night’s sleep!  After all, how can I help my clients if I don’t make sure to take care of myself?  And while sleep may be difficult to come by this week due to finals, I am reminded of this: change is a process.

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So while I am still working on many things as a student of dance/movement therapy, I can honor the fact that change is a process and I am making progress.  When I first joined the program I thought I already knew so much about Dance Movement Therapy.  However, I have come to realize just how much there is to learn.  I have learned that this field is ever growing much like myself as student, and as it does, it is constantly evolving.  This led to my third and final realization about change–it’s constant.  So while I am still working on strengthening my skills as a dance movement therapist, I am looking forward to next year and the changes it will bring.

I cannot believe after one more year I will be graduating!  Well, not quite graduating–I have to finish my thesis first, of course–but I will have finished all classes!  Here’s to the process!

[flickr id=”8743491609″ thumbnail=”medium” overlay=”true” size=”original” group=”” align=”none”] Finals time is finally here and in the midst of all the final papers and tests I have taken a break to reflect …

Dance/Movement Therapy & Counseling MA Chelsie Batko,
600 S. Michigan Ave. Chicago, IL 60605

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Hi Chelsie,

I enjoyed your blog and wondered if you could answer some questions for me. I’m entering my senior year at UF–dance minor/soc major and checking out Dance Therapy programs, including Columbia’s.

I’ve been dancing since I as two and really want a program that allows me to keep taking classes. Have you been able to do that? What were your biggest adjustments your first year? And how hard is it to find reasonable housing?

My Mom and I are making a trip to Chicago in a few weeks and I’m wondering if you think it’s better to meet with a graduate advisor or just take the Sat tour or both?

I can’t come to the Graduate Open House as it’s the day after my birthday and right in the middle of exams:(

Appreciate any help/suggestions you can offer!

Hannah Safer

Hi Hannah,

It is great to hear from you! I have been able to keep dancing! Though dance classes are not a part of the Dance/Movement Therapy and Counseling MA curriculum, there are many different studios in the city that offer class cards or walk-in fees (typically with a student discount). I also took a free dance class that was offered by one of the second year students in our program this past year. I have even been able to take part in two dance concerts this year. The first one was the annual MOVED Concert, which is sponsored by our student organization for the Dance/Movement Therapy and Counseling MA program, MOVED. I will also have the opportunity to perform in 14th annual Student/Faculty Dance Concert (put on by the Department of Creative Arts Therapies) that will be this Thursday.

I think the biggest adjustment has been the amount of reading and writing that is assigned the first year. Though we only have class on Tuesdays and Thursdays, there is quite a bit of course work that you are expected to complete outside of class.

In terms of housing, I am not as familiar with housing costs because I actually commute into the city from the suburbs. However, if you like I can certainly connect you with a few students who live in the city. For further information on housing you can e-mail me at

Lastly, I do think if you have time it is beneficial to both take the Saturday tour and meet with the graduate advisor. Taking the tour can give you an opportunity to see how you feel on campus and meeting with the graduate advisor would give you the opportunity to ask any outstanding questions that may arise during your visit. Also, if you would like I can meet with you when you are here too. Just send me an e-mail if you would like to set up a time to meet!

Hope this is helpful and let me know if you have any more questions ☺