Senior dance fitness gets Tulane student support

Applying public health knowledge and a background in dance, Tulane public health graduate student Kasey Davis provided valuable support to one of New Orleans’ largest senior health programs.

The New Orleans Ballet Association, also known as NOBA, is one of the only organizations of its kind in New Orleans dedicated to dance for all ages and supporting a healthy lifestyle. Davis, who is set to graduate with a master's degree from the Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine in May, spent the last several months as the NOBA Senior Dance Fitness intern. During the internship, she helped plan, implement, and evaluate the impact of the program, including its health education workshops.

Interacting with the seniors was the most enjoyable part of the internship, Kasey said.

"With each workshop it was great to see the participants engaged in the various presentation topics," Davis said. "They continuously express how grateful they are for NOBA and their partners for providing this program."

And with the help of Davis, the Senior Dance Fitness Program saw a gross total attendance of 2,849, serving over 130 participants just in the months of January through March 2016.

"Kasey has played a crucial role this year in helping NOBA expand its network of local and national health partners, and in doing so, has greatly increased the impact of our free dance, fitness, and wellness classes in the community, specifically for older adults," said Millette White, Kasey's supervisor and NOBA's education coordinator.

NOBA selected Davis for the internship through the Tulane Prevention Research Center's Health Promotion Practicum Program, which connects community groups, government offices and other health-related agencies with Tulane public health students every twice a year for 300-hour practicum internships.

White explained that, "as a public health student, who also happens to have a dance background, Kasey was in a unique position to effectively and passionately transfer her knowledge into action through the design and implementation of health and wellness workshops into the NORDC/NOBA Center for Dance (CFD) Senior Dance Fitness Program at the Joe W. Brown NORDC Center in New Orleans East, along with the delivery of disease prevention messaging training for program instructors."

The importance of evaluating a program was another lesson learned for Davis.

"Allowing participants to give feedback and addressing their concerns in a timely manner will aid in the program's success," she said.

By Lia Stephens, Tulane PRC Undergraduate Student Assistant
April 2016

(Photos courtesy of Kasey Davis/NOBA. Photo 1: Kasey Davis, center, was placed in an internship through the Tulane PRC Health Promotion Practicum Program and has helped plan and implement health education programs for the NOBA Senior Dance Fitness Program.)

Topics:   training , physical activity , diet

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