Cardea Fellow Miurel Price studied how dance therapy can improve the health of elderly populations.
Price was a Program II major studying artistic holistic therapies and their contribution to healthcare, with a specific focus on dance therapy. Holistic therapies are forms of alternative medicine that focus on healing the whole person—including their psychological, physical and social needs—rather than a specific disease or issue.
The Fayetteville, North Carolina native began working with Grace Healthcare of Durham, a local nursing home, to fulfill a service-learning requirement for a class called aging and health with Deborah Gold, associate professor of medical sociology.
“Sometimes it seems like [the nursing home residents’] autonomy is taken away,” Price said. “I’m excited for them to create their own work and to be in charge of something that is theirs and show them that the opportunities that are possible to feel like you have some type of control over your body and your feelings.”
Price conducted research for her senior thesis on how different healing therapies, such as dance, art or drumming therapy, interest the nursing home residents and make the largest impact on their health. She collaborated with people who worked in the nursing home providing music and physical therapy, and worked under the guidance of Ava LaVonne Vinesett, associate professor of the practice of dance.
“I felt really connected with the residents there and I'm really into healing the body naturally and ways you can manipulate the body to bring about healing from within,” Price said. “I wanted to give back in a personal way.”