More than a decade ago, her boss and mentor, Marian T. Hannan, DSc, MPH, at Hebrew SeniorLife, who is also past president of the Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals (ARHP), a division of the ACR, and editor of the journal, Arthritis Care & Research, introduced her to the ARHP. Over the past several years, Dr. Dufour has served in various volunteer roles within the association. Currently, she is the organization’s representative to the ACR’s Committee on Education and also a member of the ARHP Executive Committee. After every committee meeting, she encourages members to go dancing with her, even shows them videos and photos on her cell phone of performances by Gusto and Alma Latina dance teams.
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“Dancing has definitely made me more outgoing and confident,” she says. “It’s made me feel comfortable with going somewhere by myself, walking into a room full of 200 people, many of whom are strangers, dancing with them and not being embarrassed if I make a mistake.”
She also demonstrates that same level of confidence at work. She says she feels more comfortable developing and sharing her ideas or thoughts on different topics and projects with fellow researchers.
Meanwhile, Dr. Dufour keeps dancing. At 34 years old, she can’t envision ever stopping, no matter her age.
“Just take a lesson,” she says. “You can travel to almost any city, post a message on Facebook asking where you should go dancing on Friday night, and 45 strangers will suggest a place and offer to meet you there. How could you not want to part of something like that?”
Carol Patton is a freelance writer based in Las Vegas.