WAPT: Helping Arthritis Pain


Shake ItOut

Allegra Shank, PTA I had a pretty unconventional path that ledme to becoming a Physical Therapist Assistant. I was an avid volleyball player in high school but after suffering a shoulder injury that required surgery I was no longer able to play. I needed a new activity to focus on after high school, something I was passionate about. I tried attending college but didn’t know what I wanted to study, so school wasn’t the right fit at that time. I signed up for a local belly dance classwhen I was 18and fell in love instantly. I spent the next 6 years studying belly dance in Fremont with a world-renowned dancer. I choreographed and danced with an incredible group of women in the Fremont Solstice parade for 6 years and the photo is ofme at age 19 performing atmy brother and sister-in-law’s wedding!

I spent aweek dancing inHawaii and even got to travel to Egypt in 2008. Belly dance taught me somuch about posture, bodymechanics, the importance of stretching, andhow tomove with intention. The 6 years I spent dancing were a catalyst inmy decision to go to college for physical therapy, and so much of what I learneddancingdirectly translated tomy study of kinesiology. Dancing kept me in great shape. I got to be a part of a supportive and creative group of dancers and musicians, and I learned a lot about myself during that time. I am not currently performing or studying, but the years I spent dancing will forever be a pivotal time in my life, helping to lead me to where I am today. But if there’s ever an opportunity to dance, I am usually the first one on the dance floor finding the beat and shaking my hips!


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