News Update from Susan Frikken ’90
It feels like after 30 years, my Ripon education and experiences and friendships, and subsequent life have come together in a really wonderful way.
I feel that Ripon, along with my family, was my foundation and springboard for a rich life, one measured by experiences and relationships. My work as a physical therapist in private practice (yaharatherapy.com) feels like a culmination of these experiences and people. I get to help people get better, but I also get to focus on prevention, wellness, and trying to be part of a reimagined system of health care.
Dance Company was at the core of my Ripon experience; affecting every realm of my life (physical, organizational, emotional, social, environmental). After a winding journey, I finally landed on a certification in massage therapy and then a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree in my 40s. Along the way, one of the experiences I had was as a ballroom dance instructor. Non-profit work (Whitman-Walker Health in metro DC) gave me crucial experience with administration, fund-raising, support-group facilitation, and coordinating volunteer programs.
One of my projects, Ballroom Basics for Balance(TM) [ballroombasicsforbalance.org], started as a whim and has grown. It’s a class that helps improve balance and prevent falls in a fun way, using dance. We collaborate with students, educational institutions, government and private agencies, community members, and more. Recently, UW-Madison created a video about it. Please enjoy and share! https://news.wisc.edu/ballroom-balance/
This video feels like a representation of my good fortune to have a loving and valuable community, which includes Ripon College. What I get to do every day is not work, but a culmination and continuation of the education and experiences and people. I want to share with my classmates and alma mater and future grads as a proud one, myself!
My life includes a happy home in Madison, WI with my wife and many critters.