Lisa Teel

lisa teel head shot

Lisa Teel relocated to the Chicago area nine years ago to participate in the implementation of an electronic medical record (EMR)at Highland Park Hospital. For the past five years, she has managed the Health Information Management Services department at Northwestern University Health Service, where she utilized her expertise to facilitate their conversion to an EMR.  Lisa enjoyed her This We Believe: Northwestern experience so much that she decided to become a co-facilitator.

'My Love of Dance'

My love of dance began as a young girl when I attended my first Native American POW-WOW.  I was only seven and watched, mesmerized, as the native dancers in their colorful costumes moved in a circle, gently raising and lowering their feet in time with the beat of the drums.  Unexpectedly, some dancers would dip and spin, with their arms held out as if in flight. Their grace and beauty was like nothing I had ever seen before.

Later, after I was at home, I tried to replicate the movement of their feet and arms as I danced to the beat of the drums in my head.  I imagined dancing in the circle with them and felt light as air and happy. I think I first recognized in that moment the power dance had to lift my spirits and fill me with joy.

When I was older, I went to clubs almost every weekend and spent hours on the dance floor lost in the music and the motion. In ever felt as free from the pressures and constraints of life as I did when I was dancing.  Several times, I enrolled in dance classes, like ballet and ballroom dancing, because I thought it would be a great way to have even more fun dancing. Instead, I discovered the simple pleasure I felt when moving freely to the music was lacking, so after attending only a few classes, I stopped going.  I realized dance, for me, had become a form of self-expression and release, which lost its shape when confined to specific steps and moves.

Now, I seek out music festivals and follow my favorite band all over Wisconsin to feel the joy and release of losing myself in the symphony of music and dance.  When I am feeling blue or stressed out, I put on a favorite CD and dance around my house!  As I shake my hips and shuffle my feet, my troubles slip away and before I know it, my smile has returned and my spirit is lifted.  Dancing is joy, release, therapy and fun all rolled up in one, which is why I believe in "dancing like no one is watching".