Name: Megan Mellon
Internship, Co-op or Research Site: UMBC Dance Department and URA Scholars Program in Baltimore, MD
Position Title: Scientific Choreographer
Major(s)/Minor(s): Dance and Biological Sciences
Expected Graduation: May 2017
Briefly describe your internship, co-op, or research opportunity, including your day-to-day tasks, responsibilities, and assignments.
My research project analyzes the physiological and anatomical principles of dance movement. I attended the Bates Summer Dance Festival in Maine this summer to gain more dance education about the human body. From my experience, I did scientific research to better understand the muscular and skeletal design of our body that enables us to move in various ways. I translated my findings into dance choreography which was presented at the Senior Dance Concert, and it will be presented at URCAD 2017.
During the process I was responsible for generating movement and constructing choreography to create a ten minute long dance. I spent individual time experimenting with movement ideas, and then I held rehearsals to set choreography on my five, fantastic dancers. I spent several hours a week crafting and refining my choreographic work. Additionally for this project I needed to decide on music, costumes, hair, and makeup for the dance, while continuing to research the scientific principles underlying the human body.
Describe the process of obtaining your internship, research, or co-op opportunity.
I was interested in combining my passions of art and science together and wanted to participate in an independent research project. The URA Scholars Program provided me the platform to be able to do just that. I applied to the program and was fortunate enough to be given a scholarship to help fund my project.
What have you enjoyed the most about your position or organization/company?
I have loved being able to bring my passion for science into the dance department here at UMBC, and the support that they have given me throughout this process.
How do you believe you have made an impact through your work?
I believe I was able to provide an alternative to educate people about science through movement, instead of a traditional written or oral form. I believe integrating other concepts into dance is a way to have others experience a fun, creative journey, while still learning. I hope to continue to share scientific concepts through movement.
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