For as long as he can remember, Dane Burke has been fascinated by muscles and bones.
“My father bought a collection of books on the human body when I was younger and the book about the musculoskeletal system was definitely more worn than the rest,” he said. “From that point forward, I knew that I wanted to do something in the field of public health.”
While at UB, Burke combined his interest in public health with his love of sports and applied to the exercise science program.
“I decided to attend UB’s School of Public Health and Health Professions primarily because of the faculty and staff,” said Burke. “Every person I spoke to in the department, whether a professor or office staff member, was so helpful. I really felt special considering I was one of many students applying.
“Through that program, I got to work with just about every varsity team at the university doing on-field/court injury management and prevention as well as rehabilitation,” he said.
With his bachelor’s degree and athletic training certification in hand, he began working as a personal and an athletic trainer. One facility he worked with offered personal training and Pilates instruction. “I got to see how well the combination worked for fitness and for some rehabilitation,” he said. “After a few years working there, I returned to UB for a degree in physical therapy. I really developed an appreciation for how well the combination of an exercise science degree, a physical therapy degree and Pilates could work to help people return to a healthy state and to maintain it.”
Burke continued his education and training by becoming certified to teach Pilates for rehabilitation and fitness. Today, he is the proud owner of Buffalo-based Northstar Pilates Solutions, LLC. “I work with people who are looking to start or maintain a lifestyle that involves healthy movement, as well as people of varying ages and experiences who have suffered musculoskeletal injuries. I am lucky in that I get to combine all of the education I have received from UB to help people on a daily basis.”
Burke is grateful for his UB education which he said prepared him well for his career, and again praised the faculty and staff in being essential to that success. “Information in textbooks is the same no matter where you go. Having exposure to professors who delivered that information in a way that challenged me to look beyond the surface has made me better at what I do now. The support of the faculty helped to promote the inquisitive nature in me and made me excited about learning more, even as a professional already in the workforce.”