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Feb 28, 2018

3 Reasons Massage Therapy Is the Perfect Career for Dancers

National Holistic Institute Advanced Neuromuscular Therapy Program student Matthew Doolin has been a professional ballet dancer for over a decade and a certified massage therapist since July 2017. Originally from Jacksonville, Florida, Matthew earned a bachelor’s degree in Dance Education from Indiana’s Butler University. Dance gave him the opportunity to travel the world as a performer and dance teacher, including a yearlong stint dancing professionally in the San Francisco Bay Area. Mathew fell in love with California, and when dance took him away from the Golden State he felt the Bay Area’s artistic, progressive, and holistic community pulling him back.

“I didn’t have any big dance jobs that brought me back out here. I choose to be a starving artist in the Bay Area,” says Matthew.

But being a starving artist is hard. In 2016 Matthew had nine different jobs. At times juggling three odd jobs while also working to stay in shape, take dance classes, and build his network. It was a hard grind and as Matthew puts it he was, “tired of hustling.”

Matthew needed a change. He decided to enroll at National Holistic Institute and pursue a tandem career as a massage therapist and dancer.

“I took two sampler classes at NHI and I immediately fell in love and felt at home.”

And it’s no surprise he did.

Here are three reasons why massage therapy is the perfect career for dancers:

1. Great Income Potential in Massage Therapy

“When I heard how much money massage therapists make I was like ‘sign me up!’ The first reason I chose to go to NHI was to find more financial stability and here I am now and I got it.”

Massage therapy is a growing industry. Employment for massage therapists is projected to grow 24% between 2016 and 2026, much faster than the average for all other careers. Massage therapist is also ranked as the #4 best healthcare support job for 2018 by US News & World Report.

Dancers can increase their financial stability by adding massage therapy to their professional offerings as an extra revenue stream. Importantly, they can also create flexible, rewarding careers as massage therapists while still being available for dance auditions, rehearsals, and performances.

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2. Dancers Know Anatomy & Kinesiology

“Dance is a kinesthetic language. I have been poked, prodded and slapped into the right way to hold myself within the strict architecture of ballet for years. In massage therapy, your bodywork is an extension of your body. Without knowing my background as a dancer, several of my clients have said, ‘I felt like you were dancing on me.’”

Understanding anatomy and kinesiology is hugely important for massage therapists. Dance training provides a great foundation for understanding the proper body mechanics involved in prolonging one’s career as a dancer and a massage therapist. Before enrolling in massage school dancers already have a head start when it comes to body knowledge and awareness.


3. Dancers Have a Community of Potential Clients

“I’m putting everything I’m learning at NHI in my tool belt. I want to teach people they can take better care of themselves. I’m going to be able to educate my niche; athletes, weekend warriors, and dancers in particular, on how to maximize their capabilities and their potential.”

People who move their bodies for a living benefit immensely from massage therapy. Most dancers already know the benefit of a great massage after a hard rehearsal. If they don’t, another dancer is the perfect person to educate them. Dancers are always making new connections and every connection is a potential future client.

Professional Dancer / Massage Therapist might be the perfect job title for those like Matthew who have a passion for the stage, the body, and helping others!

Learn more about the career options available for massage therapists by chatting with an admissions representative today! Fill out the form to get more information.