Not Settling

May 29, 2013

Currents Magazine


A promising dancer since the age of four, TIA FEATHER ’12 had her dreams of a career as a ballerina end with a high school automobile accident. Or so she thought.

Enter Peter Sternberg, associate professor of health, exercise, and rehabilitative sciences at Winona State. When Feather was applying for internships to complete her health promotion degree, Sternberg insisted that she stick with her passion and seek a position related to dancers’ health and wellness.

“He told me, ‘Don’t take the easy route and settle for just anything. Pursue what you love,’” Feather says of Sternberg. “And he didn’t let me take the easy route, either.”

Sixty applications later, Feather finally got a call from the Joffrey Ballet School, one of America’s premier ballet schools. Following a 600-hour internship, the company hired Feather as its first health, wellness, and nutrition coordinator.

Feather says that there’s no set routine as she teaches, mentors, and monitors wellness and nutrition for highly driven dance students aged 14 to 28. Some days she’s arranging housing in New York City, the Joffrey’s home. On others, she might spend all night in the emergency room with an injured ballerina.

While she’s not performing herself, Feather is “surrounded by dance every day. Just not the way I imagined.”

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About Winona State University

Founded in 1858, Winona State University is a comprehensive public university with more than 8,500 students. The oldest member of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System, Winona State offers 80 undergraduate, pre-professional, licensure, graduate, and doctorate programs on its three campuses: the original Main Campus in Winona, the West Campus in Winona, and Winona State University-Rochester.

View all posts by Winona State University


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