Kate Riegle-Van West
Kate Riegle van West is an interdisciplinary artist interested in the health benefits of poi (a ball on the end of a cord swung in circular patterns around the body). She has studied poi in a variety of ways over the past decade, such as opening a flow arts storefront in Chicago, to creating a musical instrument rooted in poi during her MFA, to giving a TED talk on the potential value of poi. She is currently conducting PhD research on the effects of poi on physical and cognitive function in healthy older adults, the first study in the world to evaluate the potential health benefits of this art form. She graduated from Columbia College Chicago in 2011 with an M.F.A in Interdisciplinary Art and Media, and obtained her B.S. in Arts Technology from Illinois State University in 2007.
Research | Current
As our lifespan lengthens and our ageing population rapidly grows, quality of life in our latter years is of utmost concern. The aim of this research is to discover if International Poi has an effect on physical and cognitive function in healthy older adults. An assessor-blind randomized controlled trial is currently underway with healthy adults aged 60 years or older. Participants are randomly assigned to either the International Poi group (treatment) or Tai Chi group (control), and physical and cognitive function are measured before and after two months of lessons. To learn more about this research, please visit spinpoi.com.
Teaching | Current
- DANCE 351: Developing brain and body through circus
Focusing on coordination, memory, creative problem solving, musicality, strength and flexibility through ground based circus arts.
- DANCE 314, Dance and Technology
Areas of expertise
Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)
- Riegle-Van West, K. (2016). The Effects of International Poi and Tai Chi on Physical and Cognitive Function in Healthy Older Adults. Paper presented at 9th World Congress on Active Ageing, Melbourne, Australia. 28 June - 1 July 2016. Journal of Aging and Physical Activity. Related URL.
- Riegle-Van West, K. (2011). The Orbitar Columbia College Chicago. Columbia College Chicago. Related URL.
- Riegle-Van West, K. (2011). The Orbitar. Journal of the New Media Caucus, 7 (2). Related URL.