June 6, 2023

Alisia Humphreys: Dancing Her Way Through the PTA Program

By B&SC Blog Team

Alisia Humphreys: Dancing Her Way Through the PTA Program

Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) student Alisia Humphreys’ path to her career as a professional dancer and cheerleader started at a very young age. Her mother owned a dance studio in West Seneca, NY, named after Alisia’s grandmother Eugenia, who opened the studio. Alisia started dancing at the age of two and started competitive dancing when she was six years old, though she never felt the pressure to continue dancing like her mother and grandmother before her. “My family supported anything I wanted to do,” said Alisia. “There were moments when I wanted to quit or take a break, but I loved the environment, and I loved all my friends. Dancing was my break from school and from any other stress I was faced with. I could go, see my friends, and do something that I loved.”

Off To School

It was her love of dance that would eventually lead to her desire to join Bryant & Stratton. College’s PTA program. “Growing up, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, but I always knew I wanted to be in the healthcare setting,” said Alisia. “Growing up a dancer, I was always kind of interested in the body. I had a really great dance teacher growing up who knew all of the muscles and how they worked. She would show up in a suit with the muscles and the skeleton on it, which was a little cheesy, but I loved it.”

An injury to a fellow dancer helped Alisia decide to pursue a career in physical therapy. “She had an injury to her ankle, and she was going to be missing her final recital as a senior,” said Alisia. “But when she started PT, she came back to dance and finished her year. Knowing that physical therapy can make that much of a difference really struck my interest.”

Born and raised in Fort Erie, Ontario, Alisia decided to look stateside for her collegiate pursuits. “I have dual citizenship, and I personally think that New York State Education is of a higher caliber,” she said. “I didn’t really want to move away, so staying close to home made sense. I wasn’t quite sure where I wanted to go, but when I talked to Bryant & Stratton College’s admissions and financial aid, and when I met the program director, everyone was so welcoming. I knew instantly this was the place for me. It was an eye-opening experience.”

Getting Her Pom On

With her dance background, Alisia decided to try out for the Buffalo Bandettes, the dance and cheer team for the National Lacrosse League’s (NLL) Buffalo Bandits, who recently took home the National Championship title. However, she was at a bit of a disadvantage. “I was never a cheerleader,” said Alisia. “I had never worked with pompoms, so I went to a voluntary prep class that the Bandettes held where we learned some basic Bandettes’ choreography and learned how to handle them.”

“The actual audition, a couple of weeks later, was a four-hour process,” Alisia continued. “They compiled a score based on technique and personality. Then they picked 15 girls to call back the next day, which was a 15-minute interview. That was where we got to make our mark with the coach. It was pretty stressful, but I knew it would entail a lot of dancing, which I love.”

While Alisia loves dancing with her fellow Bandettes, she cherishes the fan interactions. “We greet the fans before every game, and while many of our interactions are standard ‘Have fun! Enjoy the game!,’ we do have fans come up to us and let us know how much they enjoy our performance, and that is very motivating. It always feels very nice. We really enjoy speaking with the fans, because we’re all there for a common goal, which is for the Bandits to win.”

In addition to her schooling and her time working with the Bandettes, Alisia also teaches dance at her mother’s studio, making for a hectic schedule, to say the least. “I only teach two classes right now, but they do add up between choreography and making places for all the dancers. Some of my days are as long as 11 hours. It is demanding, but I’ve always loved to stay busy. I really enjoy it.”

As far as the future is concerned, Alisia hasn’t quite settled on what particular area of physical therapy she’d like to move into. “I’m hoping to gain some insight during my upcoming clinicals,” she said. “I’ve always wanted to work in pediatrics, though I may go into college athletics. I’m going to keep my mind open.”

You can learn more about Bryant & Stratton College’s Physical Therapist Assistant program here!

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