Meet Taylor: a self-described math girl who’s as passionate about her healthcare career as she is about the L.A. Clippers and our troops overseas. I’ll let Taylor explain.

Thanks for reaching out to us, Taylor! We’re psyched to have the opportunity to interview you in our quest to playfully challenge stereotypes. Before we get started, congratulations on being on the cover of Shape magazine! So, we hear you’re a dancing CT/MRI technologist. Is that right?
Taylor: That’s right! After dancing for the Los Angelos Clippers, I decided to travel the world with the Sweethearts for Soldiers to cheer on the men and women of the United States Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard. I’m hoping to meet healthcare workers overseas so I can sharpen my skills and share my experiences as a CT/MRI Technologist.
Tell us about that. What turned you onto that field?
Taylor: My father is a radiologist, so he is the type of doctor who reads the scans. I take the scans–using Xrays for the CT scans and magnetic fields for the MRIs–and a radiologist interprets them. It’s because of him that I became interested in this field.
What’s it like having one foot in the pro dancing world and the other in the field of health care?
Taylor: In my case, I believe my looks and career as a dancer results in people questioning my ability…whether it’s other technologists, physicians, administrators, and even patients sometimes! I have had to prove myself time and time again. I am confident in my capabilities and have to show that I am just as good if not better than anybody else. 🙂
Favorite school courses?
Taylor: Calculus! I enjoy math and really like calculus. As far as my radiologic sciences courses, I’d say that my favorite class was probably pathology.  It’s interesting to see weird things the body does to itself and how it is visualized through imaging.
So you’re a math girl at heart! Any words of wisdom to share with young girls who may feel conflicted about following one dream (cheerleading, dancing, even acting or modeling, etc) often associated with being an empty shell and following another “smarty career” such as science, math, engineering, technology, etc?
Taylor: My advice to middle or high school girls is not to be torn between dancing. etc and pursuing the sciences.  There is definitely a tightrope you have to walk to be accomplished in both, but it can be done. I’ve done it and I continue to do so over ten years into my health care career and as a 2013 Sweetheart.  You have to develop a thick skin and be sure to maintain your confidence, which can be tough. Bottom line, when all is said and done, it is possible to follow your dreams, both professionally and personally.  Use your scientific interests to break that stereotype of pro cheerleaders and dancers. I would march into Clippers games and appearances proud to be a dancer AND a healthcare professional; and I enter work proud to be a healthcare professional AND a pro dancer!
Taylor participated in Project MERCCURI, helping collect microbes, even collecting some from Buzz Aldrin’s shoes!

Taylor Hooks and Buzz Aldrin

Check out more Pro Cheerleaders-Turned-Scientists!

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