Dance has been a part of Madalyn Foley’s life since she was five years old. By the time she turned 14, she knew she wanted to pursue a career that kept dance as a part of her life.
In addition to her passion for dance, biology became Foley’s strong suit in high school. Her passion for biology fostered an interest in psychological studies, specifically concerning dance and its effect on dancers.
The unique combination of Foley’s love for dance and savvy science skills led to her winning the American Harlequin Scholarship for Support of Dance Science this year. The scholarship is $9,000 over three years and is given to a Missouri State University student involved in the departments of physical therapy and theater and dance. Foley said she is grateful she was chosen.
“The project that I did for the Harlequin Scholarship was about the psychological process of recovering from an injury and returning to performing,” said Foley. “All dancers cope differently, but there is no doubt that it causes them some kind of grief because dance is so often such an integral part of his or her life.”
“My research taught me a lot about dealing with injuries, which are often an inevitable part of a dancer’s life. I am actually currently nursing a back injury, and have used techniques that I researched to keep myself motivated. I am glad that I got the opportunity to learn about what I am passionate about through a new, scientific perspective. I believe that this knowledge will help me throughout the rest of my education and my career.”
Upon graduation, Foley plans to become a part of a professional dance company in Colorado, but graduate school might be an option.
“I would like to pursue a master’s degree in something that is dance science related, but I want to seize the opportunity to perform while it still exists.”
Harlequin Floors’ annual dance scholarship program has provided support, encouragement and better opportunities for dancers by using its credibility and resources to help students like Foley over the years.