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Amandine Dandeneau
United States
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Amandine Dandeneau is a student at Southern Methodist University who hopes to find a career that fulfills her passion for helping others.

Amanda Dandeneau is a 20-year-old senior at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. Originally from Boca Raton, Florida, Dandeneau is working on earning her French degree, with a minor in Mathematics. She has a strong desire to help others, which has helped her decide the type of career she hopes to pursue. While finishing her undergraduate classes, Dandeneau has been researching nursing schools to which she plans to apply and possibly attend after earning her Bachelor’s degree.

Amanda Dandeneau’s senior year at Southern Methodist University will begin this upcoming 2013 fall semester. The bilingual student enjoys studying language, which is primarily why she chose to major in French. Why study French? French is a romance language, and is often cited as one of the most beautiful languages in the world. French is not just spoken in France either. The elegant language is spoken in Brussels, Belgium, and regions of Switzerland. Originating from the Latin of the Roman Empire, French is estimated to have over 100 million native speakers.

Believe it or not, French majors can find a wide array of employment options upon graduation. There is a high demand for French speakers in banking and finance, diplomacy, foreign market analysis and hotel management. In fact, France boasts the world’s fourth largest economy and ranks amongst the highest gross domestic product (GDP) growth in Europe. While some may say the language of business is English, common experiences and respect are the facilitators of lasting relationships. Even the most basic efforts to communicate the native language of a host show sophistication, and these efforts are greatly appreciated.

Throughout most of Amandine Dandeneau’s young life, her focus has largely revolved around her passion for dancing. She grew up taking ballet lessons and has performed for some of the most prestigious youth dance companies, including The Joffrey Ballet in San Antonio, The American Ballet Theatre in Alabama, The Parris Ballet at the American Academy of Dance in Paris, and The Monte-Carlo Ballet in Monte Carlo.

Ballet is a type of dance that originated in the Italian Renaissance. Through time, it prevailed, becoming a widespread, highly technical form of dance. Its vocabulary is based on French terminology – a meaningful fusion of Amandine Dandeneau’s love of dance and French. Ballet consists of choreography and music. In collaboration, the two form a ballet production. It’s influence and technique can be seen in various dance genres.

Educational Focus
When it came time to attend college, Amandine Dandeneau decided to take a substantial leap from the nest and leave her hometown of Boca Raton, a southern city of Florida. Located in Palm Beach County, Boca Raton is the largest city between West Palm Beach and Pompano Beach. It’s known for its tropical climate and picturesque beaches, including Red Reef Park and South Inlet Park. It’s widely affluent population is characterized by a largely elderly demographic.

While Amanda Dandeneau cherishes her Florida roots, she enrolled at Southern Methodist University and uprooted her life to Dallas, Texas. The private research university was founded in 1911, by what is now The United Methodist Church, in partnership with civic leaders. In 2010, the university had an acceptance rate of 55 percent. The 2013 U.S. News and World Report of Best Colleges ranked Southern Methodist University at number 58. The university’s 11,000 students benefit from small classes, leadership opportunities, international study, and innovative programs.

The university’s mission is to prepare students for leadership within their communities and professions. It’s location, in the heart of Dallas, offers students a thriving center of commerce and culture. The university’s relationship with the city region also improves students’ chances of employment upon graduation.

The school is built on a strong foundation in the humanities and sciences, and professional and graduate programs through seven degree-granting schools. These various and distinct environments offer opportunities for research, studying abroad, community service, mentoring, and internships. The nonsectarian university is committed to offering students academic freedom and open inquiry.

A Philanthropic Nature

Apart from her desire to help others through attaining a degree in nursing, Amandine Dandeneau enjoys contributing her time to other areas of interest. As a passionate and skilled ballet dancer, Dandeneau has volunteered her time to teach ballet to underprivileged New Jersey students at the Theater Arts Dance Academy. Dandeneau found this work extremely rewarding and was thrilled to be able to utilize her dancing ability to benefit those less fortunate.

Ballet requires years of practice and hard dedication. The following steps can help any individual looking to get involved in this challenging, but extremely rewarding dance form:

• Being a ballet dancer generally requires a strong core, back, legs, and feet. The individuals should also be relatively flexible and assume a certain level of grace.
• Effective training in the dance form can make a world of difference in how much your talents excels. Ballet dancers should make sure they find a school offering well-qualified and experienced instructors.
• The proper attire is completely necessary, including tightly fitting uniforms such as a leotard and soft ballet shoes.
• Practice doesn’t end after classes. Dancers should make the extra effort and get in some extra training at home. Activities like yoga, Pilates, and bike riding are effective cross training techniques.
• Stay committed to a healthy lifestyle. Ballet dancing can take a toll on the body. It involves training that can be tiresome and sometimes frustrating. If the body is not in mint condition, training will be harder than it needs to be.
• Keep at it! Don’t give up when training starts to seem too difficult. Most ballet dancers hit a point where they feel they can’t go on any longer. Dancers interested in becoming professional ballerinas need to push through the hardship and stick with the hours upon hours of intense training.

Yes, the ability to dance well partially comes from an individual’s natural abilities, but these steps can help any aspiring dancer get to the top.

Helping and Training Animals

Dandeneau’s love for animals leads her in another charitable direction. She devoted her time as a volunteer for a charitable organization that partners with hospitals, nursing homes and senior citizen centers. The organization offers therapy ponies that interact with sick or aging individuals in confidence of improving their quality of life. Dandeneau worked hands on with the ponies, training them to become service animals.

The ponies relax patients, while providing a unique form of entertainment. Patients feel a positive effect from the ponies by simply interacting or watching them. Similarly to the companionship of a dog, these ponies give patients an irreplaceable reason to smile.

Amandine Dandeneau’s animal spirit didn’t stop there. She also volunteered at a no-kill shelter back in her hometown of Boca Raton. The shelter remains dedicated to preserving the lives of innocent, yet homeless cats and dogs.

An Experienced, Young Mind

Amandine Dandeneau has experienced a lot for her young age – much more than your average 20-year-old. From starting her philanthropic work at a young age, to the traveling she was able to do as a ballet dancer, Dandeneau has already accumulated her fair share of travel and cultural experiences. Amandine Dandeneau hopes that her prior experiences, in alliance with her current studies at Southern Methodist University, will lead her towards her goal of generosity.

Amandine Dandeneau continues to make strides towards benefiting those in need. She hopes to follow her Bachelor’s degree with nursing school. Nurses are able to better the wellbeing of others on a daily basis. While this is rewarding in itself, there are many other perks to becoming a nurse.

Amandine Dandeneau notes that with the growing demand for nurses, which will grow to about 600,000 nursing jobs by 2018, reassures the importance of getting more individuals to consider a job in the field. As the adult population grows older, the necessary number of nurses will continue to increase.

Nursing offers individuals a lot of freedom in regards to where to work, areas of specialization, and degrees to pursue. Nursing school graduates also enjoy some of the highest starting salaries in relation to their peers in other industries.

Nursing is one of the most flexible careers out there today. There are over 104 specialties and a variety of advanced nursing degrees. As a nurse, it is possible to move laterally to other specialties or vertically and build on your education. Most nurses have very flexible hours, oftentimes choosing between 4,8,10 and 12-hour shifts. These shifts range from weekdays to weekends, or a combination. This is very helpful for nurses who are also parents and need to adjust hours for family time.

Healthcare will never go away. Sadly, people will always need medical attention. But this is also why the nursing field will only grow. Nurses can work anywhere, from hospitals and doctors’ offices to Alaskan outposts and small African communities. There will always be people that need care, and Amandine Dandeneau hopes to be there for those who do.

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