Dance Isn’t Just About Dancing
As sometimes happens, it was a catastrophe that changed Hang Yin Candy Lo’s life. She was pursuing her entertainment career, working as a vocalist at Hong Kong Disneyland, when the Sichuan earthquake in China occurred.
“As a performer I could go and sing and dance with the kids, but I knew I could do so much more for the survivors of the quake,” she said. “But I would need the proper training.”
For that, Candy, who had earned an undergraduate degree in music and theater in London, wanted to study in the United States. She entered Dance/Movement Therapy program at Antioch University New England (AUNE) in 2009, with a second concentration in drama therapy through AUNE’s alternate route training.
“AUNE was the only school at which she could earn both credentials-dance/movement therapy and drama therapy at the same time, ” she said. At AUNE, she learned how to use drama therapy as another way of helping people, much like dance therapy but using text, role-playing, and script-writing.
“For me, I see drama or dance therapy-or even child life [also an AUNE credential program] as under one umbrella. I see myself as a therapist using different modalities in different settings.” Candy put those skills to work in her final internship at the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles.
Candy was fourteen when she decided that she wanted to work in therapy, through her mentor and modern dance teacher, Andy Wong Ting Lam.
“He wasn’t a dance therapist, but what he did was very therapeutic,” she said. “So I realized that dance isn’t just about dancing.”
After graduating, she moved back to Hong Kong and started her own creative arts therapy company, Piece of Sky, while continuing to freelance as a performer. Candy is grateful for the support by AUNE’s supervisors and faculty, especially Kim Burden, drama therapist and adjunct faculty in the Department of Applied Psychology.
“Without all that help, there’s no way I could be where I am today,” she said. “Even when I wasn’t on campus, the support was still so strong and so important.”