A nursing student-athlete interview with…Madeline Blohm and Miranda Barroqueiro
Nursing students Madeline Blohm, senior (left), and Miranda Barroqueiro, sophomore, are successful members of the dance team as they balance both a rigorous curriculum and workouts, numerous games and appearances, and team travel. Masters of tight schedules and organization, here they're ready to kick off the basketball season with Hoops Mania in the newly renovated Finneran Pavilion in fall 2018 - just one of many locations around the country where they weave athleticism, precision and energy into every performance.
Q. What do you love about your sport?
Maddie: While I do love dancing and performing, by far the best thing about the Dance Team are the girls on the team, our coach, and the support we get from our families.
Miranda: Growing up a competitive dancer, I love being able to continue my passion, while still balancing my school work. I also love being a part of the Villanova community and participating in sporting events.
Q. What would surprise people about your sport or how you execute?
Maddie: People would be surprised about the type of opportunities we’ve been fortunate enough to have, such as being interviewed on Good Day Philadelphia when our basketball team won the NCAA tournament in 2016.
Miranda: A lot of people assume that dance does not qualify as a “sport”, hence we do not dedicate time to it. However, VUDT practices are held three times a week, while also attending men’s basketball and football games, and UDA nationals in Florida. Therefore, it is surprising to people how we manage to balance school and dance team.
Q. What are you most proud of in terms of personal or team accomplishments?
Maddie: I’m most proud of the progress we’ve made as a program. We have gotten more competitive and continue to push ourselves in trying harder skills and technique, gotten more involved in activities on campus, and have increased our presence during football and basketball games.
Miranda: I am proud that our team GPA last year was an average of 3.7, despite juggling nationals, football games and basketball games all in one semester. Our team consists of members in each of the schools and individually we all prioritize and take pride in our school work.
Q. How would you describe the time commitment?
Maddie: Practice 2-3x a week with performances at men’s home football games and men’s home basketball games. We also perform at the men’s basketball Big East Tournament
and travel with the team during NCAA tournament. We also participate in UDA Collegiate National Competition, Special Olympics, Day of Service, 1842 Day, and other miscellaneous events around campus.
Q. What characteristics does someone needs to be a successful nursing student-athlete?
Maddie: Good time-management skills and work ethic to keep up with assigned work. Also, it’s important to learn from your mistakes and implement change when you don’t perform well during clinical, a test, or a game.
Miranda: It is very important to stay on top of things and be proactive. While balancing school and a team, it is very easy to fall behind and not give your all to each of your activities. To prevent that, I stay highly organized and micro-manage my entire schedule weekly.
Q. What are your biggest challenges as a nursing student-athlete?
Miranda: My biggest challenge is giving my full attention to both school and the team. Sometimes it is physically not possible to spread myself that thin and once in a while either activity takes the brunt. Although I rarely let that happen, it unfortunately sometimes does.
Q. Where do you find your inspiration as either an athlete or nursing student?
Maddie: I am inspired by the fact that I have the opportunity to impact someone’s day and that these patients are letting me in and are allowing me to learn to help them during a difficult time in their lives.
Miranda: I am inspired in both dance team and nursing, by the senior dance team captain Maddie Blohm. She is also a nursing major, so I am aware of how much time she dedicates to school, while also leading and organizing dance team and it is admirable. While being a talented, amazing leader she also excels at school and I hope by the time I am a senior, I will be just as accomplished as she is.
Q. What do you want to do with your nursing career?
Maddie: I’m hoping to work for a few years then continue my education on to become a Cardiovascular Surgery Nurse Practitioner or Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist.
Miranda: I am hoping to pursue a nurse practitioner position in either pediatrics, neonatal or something with maternity. I overall want to be able to make a difference in a child’s life. Being a patient in the hospital at one point, really gave me perspective on how comforting it is to have an approachable, warm nurse and I want to be able to give that same comfort to someone else.
Q. What advice would you give an incoming nursing student-athlete?
Maddie: Utilize your resources and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Commitment to a team on top of nursing school work is a lot; teachers and coaches are usually understanding so communicate with them when you are struggling. School always comes first!
Miranda: Don’t quit because things get hard. It is very possible to do both once you find your groove.