Name: Nancy Goldov
Occupation: Clinical psychology doctoral candidate.
What’s on her mind these days: “Converting my knowledge to meaningful work, where I can make a difference in the community: So, creating a job!”
Nancy Goldov began dancing in childhood, starting with ballet, modern and tap dance. Exploring folk dance in high school and the piano along the way, Nancy took her love of dance and music into college with her as a dance major at Cornish College.
But she long had a desire to bring people joy — through the use of movement.
Now working on doctoral studies in clinical psychology, Nancy Goldov leads a busy life. She volunteers at Cancer Lifeline, where she is a clinical psychology intern, and is a licensed mental health counselor as well. Also, she’s a board-certified dance-movement therapist.
Dance-movement therapists, Nancy says, “focus on movement behavior as it emerges in the therapeutic relationship.” In dance-movement therapy, behavior and emotions that may have only been expressed verbally in another therapeutic setting is seen in the movement of patients.
Upon discovering a program in psychology and dance at Evergreen State College while she was attending Cornish as a major, she fell in love with the idea of combining both disciplines. Her program would provide a jumping point from an undergraduate love of psychology to a need to combine dance and psychology.
“I was immersed in the study of body movement as a core component of dance, as it provided a means of expression,” she says.
Nancy moved to New York while she studied for her graduate degree, working in dance-movement therapy as she explored the body and mind as they coped with illness and disability. After four years, Nancy returned home, once again pursuing her artistic interests. She joined the Radost Folk Ensemble, a dance troupe devoted to the ethnic dance traditions of Eastern Europe, and steeped herself in Jewish music by performing in the Freylakh Klezmer band.
With a life spent dancing, even studying as far away as Eastern Europe, Nancy still wanted to use her talents to help others, however. A life performing, as a dancer and artist, still couldn’t match the fulfillment she had experienced in New York while practicing dance-movement therapy.
So Nancy began to work in elder care, opening a new chapter in her life when she began to work at the Kline Galland Home in 1998. As the first person to bring dance-movement therapy to people both in the Alzheimer’s and long-term care units, she also helped to provide a foundation for what would later evolve into a creative arts therapy department at Kline Galland.
Feeling a drive to expand her own opportunities, both in employment and knowledge, Nancy most recently enrolled in a doctoral program at Argosy University in Seattle. Uniting dance-movement therapy and clinical psychology in health psychology, Nancy began rigorous training and conducting studies in her field. Focusing her dissertation on body image and women with breast cancer, Nancy uses dance movement therapy to help patients one on one through the difficult and often fraught experience of dealing with cancer.
Her work at Cancer Lifeline includes much of the same compassionate psychology practice, in particular while working with people during their time receiving transfusions.
“Dancing is a place for me where my body and mind mobilized,” Nancy says, when talking about her own experiences with emotional experience of dance.
Jill Cohen met Nancy during their days in the Radost Folk Ensemble 18 years ago. Immediately gravitating toward each other, the two have been friends since — and Nancy helped Cohen when she had her own battle with breast cancer.
“I have always admired Nancy’s ability to be flexible and adapt to changing circumstances,” Jill says. “Her decision to pursue a [Psy.D.] later in her career reflects both her commitment to the helping professions and an enhancement of her work in dance therapy.”