Take an Art Break Podcast

What happens to your body on art?




Lisa (00:01):

Oh, welcome, welcome. We’re so excited. Today we have Amy Lee from Dance for Healing. And Amy, if you could just introduce yourself to our audience, who you’re, and what you’re doing in this world.

Amy (00:14):

Yeah. Hi everyone. I’m Amy Lee, founder and c e o of Dance for Healing. As started because my own trajectory of life you know, recovering from stage four cancer that personally benefit a lot from creative arts and, you know, really a salary, my recovery and, and surprised my doctors. So after that, I just left my cushy corporate job which is mostly focused on innovation that bring my technology innovation background in AI research and behavior design to make healthy habits accessible, supported and fun for patients like me and elderly like my mom. So here I am, champion for the arts, <laugh> and for

Lauren (00:57):

That’s awesome. So we like to start every conversation off with a question. And so the question we’re using today as our jumping off point is what happens to your body on art? So in whatever way, whatever that inspires what, what happens to your body on art?

Amy (01:15):

Yeah. So I think you ask the right person because oftentimes my funny way of describing myself is I can’t resist music. If you turn it on, I’m gonna start moving <laugh>.

Lisa (01:30):


Amy (01:30):

You definitely ask the right person for that question. I think alright, has an innate ability to reach human soul, you know, regardless whether it’s, you know, writing, poetry, painting, drawing, or music, you know, or dance, right? Like, you know, I joke around and say, you can walk around and like reading your phone, right? But you can’t dance <laugh> trying to do your phone. Right.

Lauren (01:55):

See, that’s gross.

Amy (01:56):

Yeah. so yeah, all jokes says aside, I think r has a very unique way to to reach human in a much, much deeper way for our, you know, back auto old times of ancient humanity up until now. Yeah. And you guys probably noticed, like, you know, the Italians started to, you know, singing outside their windows and then That’s right, right. And then yeah, all dance on the patio with their neighbors, you know, when the pandemic happened, you know, so easy. See, when, when our humanities threaten, we naturally go back to art. Yeah.

Lisa (02:30):

I’m interested, can you go back to, so you love music and you love dancing, but how did you know that would like, heal you? How did that kinda switch turn on for you?

Amy (02:39):

So, to be honest, at the time I wasn’t fully realizing it. I just utilize it. I mean, honestly my mom tell a fun story that when I was maybe four or five that she took me to visit my grandma in the, you know, old Chinese countryside, the court Yeah. Houses. And so she went to, took a nap, which is typical like the Chinese Cs that and I was a little kid, so I couldn’t, I couldn’t sleep obviously. So I saw a group of adults were doing Cho in the auto cell Korea. So went up to them, introduced myself, started dancing and singing for them. Mm. Wow. It was very in innate in my body. Right. And so when my mom woke up, she thought it was a proper term to introduce myself to everyone, and everybody just looked at me and start laughing say, oh yeah, we already didn’t know her.

Amy (03:31):

<Laugh>. Right. Yeah. And you know, the funny thing is despite of that in Chinese culture, we normally don’t see r as like a, a living choice or career option, right? Hmm. It’s like, it’s, you know, cuz Chinese culture does very, you know, value heavily on stability, right? So r is like a side hobby. And so I technically won her public speech contest when I was 12 mm-hmm. <Affirmative>. And so this is like sound in China, very male dominant. And so when the teacher identified a girl that is not that shy that she could put on stage, they, they put me a lot on stage. So I was dancing, singing, you know, do kind, all kinds of stuff. And I wasnt near sighted, so I couldn’t see on the stage. So I was like a little kid going up there, <laugh> reading a poetry, dancing, singing, doing whatever the teacher asked me to do.

Amy (04:27):

And, and then, you know, it certainly built up a lot of my confidence, right? But when I was reaching like, you know more like a senior high school about to prepare for my college interest exam, this is like a most important exam that a student will take to determine pretty much like life trajectory, what are you gonna get into a good college or not. And it’s in the most intense three days in the hottest summer. Wow. You know, <laugh> that you have to like do this concentrate six subject test. Right. Oh my. And so, right. And so because of that, you know, as soon as like I get to maybe even like the two years before that final exam, my parents was like, Uhuh, no more dancing, no more singing, nothing, focus on school. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, no performance, nothing. Right. and you know, so to my surprise I really kind of left sort of my, I don’t even know if it was a dream or just like my sort of childhood innate love for arts for a long time until I came to the us.

Amy (05:38):

Because I, unfortunately during that exam I had a heat like, what do you call it? Heat stroke or something like whatever you call it, like, you know mm-hmm. <Affirmative>. So I was hospitalized and I was on IV <laugh> and I still go back to the test. So I didn’t score as high as my normal score. Why? So I went to two year college in China and I came to the US and so because of immigration to the us I actually went back to study graphic design, which is something that relate more to kind of what I love to do. Instead of, like in China, I’ll study taxation management, which is very, very <laugh> mm-hmm. <Affirmative> very, very far away from the arts. Right. But my dad was super happy because, you know, you get a government job, you know, like work for like the I r s and is well paid as highly respected.

Amy (06:32):

Right. but that wasn’t really what my heart is calling for. Right. And so, you know, one thing I’d really appreciate coming to the us you know, is that I do have a really good college counselor. I started in community college and mm-hmm. <Affirmative> while I was working, selling pot in pan to supermarkets, mostly Asian supermarket mm-hmm. <Affirmative> to pay for my college tuition to really get my, you know, life started in the us. And luckily my counselor when I told him, Hey, my friend told me that there’s this major I can draw on a computer, what is that like? I like to do that. And then he was like, oh, you you mean graphic design? That’s actually not a computer degree. That’s a, that’s a fine art degree. And then I got scared. I was like, oh I don’t think I have any art training.

Amy (07:22):

I literally do not believe I have many art training despite the fact I’ve been doodling since I was a young child. I was fascinating with like ancient Chinese woman’s hairstyle mm-hmm. All kinds of jewelry on top of their hair. Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative>. And so that was my classic, you know, like ing across like, you know, probably the junior high school. And then I had a friend who’s also really into ding. So we will compare like, you know, her little Asian women, you know, portraits versus May and seafood does better and kinda inspire each other. So I did that. And then one time when I was in a political science class, I was doodling obviously in my teacher, noticed that I wasn’t paying attention to the class. So he came by and he realized, oh. Like my <laugh>, my book, my political science book was throw little little figures of these Asian fe with fancy hairs. So guess what? I was polished by, you know, being called to stand in front of the blackboard and it’s the circle in front of the class as a punishment that, that, you know, that I wasn’t I wasn’t doing a student supposed to do.

Lauren (08:35):

Right. So one, so no wonder you were afraid of a little bit afraid of pursuing art. Right. You didn’t really get a ton of messaging that it was

Amy (08:46):

Thing, you know? Yeah, yeah, yeah. You’re right. Yeah. And I think as a kid, you, you come on me, you can’t tell a kid not to draw on the, on a, I don’t know, on the wall, on the bathroom. Right. As a king, you don’t really think about that. You’re just like, oh, there’s a paper. Like I’m just gonna start doodling. So that’s kinda what I did. Right. Right. Now, now I probably would not draw a book, but it’s a child <laugh>, I didn’t really care. Right. and then the other thing also is really interesting that did not build out any of my confidence either. What’s interesting is I actually was one of the main person who did all the illustrations and their paper design for our classroom paper mm-hmm. <Affirmative> that publish in the back of our, you know, so in, I don’t know how it is in here.

Amy (09:33):

So in Chinese classroom used to be like blackboard white charts. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. So in the fan, it’s the teacher’s teaching in the back, it’s a student published like a news newsletter mm-hmm. <Affirmative> or whatever, like a paper, whatever you call it. Usually I think it’s usually every week. And I was the main person who did that for six years in high school. Wow. And then there’s a competition between different classrooms. Cuz in China our classroom is consistent, always that same room. And then the same students go there for three years and then, you know, then that’s junior high and then three years for the high school. Right. <laugh>. So we won all kinds of competition. We got invited to publish this, the all the school’s newspaper, which is like, you know, the main name main like, what do you call it? Driveway into the school. There’s this giant school newspaper on the wall. Right. That we get invited to be published because we won the other competition. Right. Wow. I did that too. But despite all of that, because I was always doing it myself, I mean, took a few classes, but none of those experience, I was guided by like official training or anything. Right. And so when my teacher here the college counselor told me, oh, that’s a final degree. And I would say, oh, I don’t, I don’t have any art training.

Lauren (10:59):

Mm-Hmm. Right. Even though it had been integrated in your entire life. Mm-Hmm. Right. That’s so inter interesting that you had that perspective. Right. Ok. So then if you, so did you go for the graphic design?

Amy (11:13):

Yeah, I did. Ok. And so luckily he was so good, he told me, well, so I know you not feel confident. And the good news is a lot of these art classes could be like college credit as a general credit. So you could go take it and then it will apply as your college credit. If you don’t like it. You don’t have to go to graphic design. You know, these still apply as your general credit. If you like it, then you can apply for graphic design. And then he told me about this program in Cal State Long Beach, you know, which is like one of their top graphic design program in the country. But I didn’t realize it was so hard to get in. So, so anyway, and, and I think one thing also really good is they, Ray come in our career center, recommend that we do career interviews. So we interview you know, some of the other graphic designers, like really kind of learn about their career. I actually recently was organizing, you know, moving back to la organizing my college, you know, all like o stuff, right? Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> came across one of their lady that we interview <laugh>, that she is a graphic designer, actually contacting her on LinkedIn. Hey, do you remember me? Wow.

Amy (12:29):

Yeah. It was, it was really interesting. So anyway, that was helpful. And then I also drove down all the way to Cal State long way to visit a school, talked to the professor to like, kind of really learn about what, what it takes to be major in that. Right. and then I took bunch of like, fine art classes, like drawing, painting, 2D design, 3D design, light drawing, you know, which I was very shy to like mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, you know, as Chinese, we don’t see people naked. Normally <laugh> go to a class. And, but I, I don’t even think, like throughout the whole class I speak much because I was shocked. Like I just keep

Lisa (13:09):

Drawing <laugh>. Yeah, yeah.

Amy (13:12):

Yeah. And it was really interesting. It’s like a lot of models, they, they do it because they also artist themselves, right? Yeah. So during the boy, the towel, when they walk around, they would come to look at our drawing and, and they were like, you know, have like a little casual conversation with us. And I was always like, mm-hmm. <Affirmative>. Yeah, <laugh> <laugh>.

Lisa (13:33):

Yeah. I think I feel like every art, every art student has had that experience. For sure. For

Amy (13:38):

Sure. Great. Yeah. So it’s really interesting. Yeah. So anyway the good news is throughout all my art classes, I was one of the top student Mm. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. So that gives me a lot of validation. Yeah. So that, that gives me a lot of confidence to like actually really apply for, for the super difficult to get in program and finally got in. Yeah. And, and that set up my foundation for design. Yeah.

Lisa (14:06):

Yeah. Okay. I love it. I mean, it seems like art is a force in your life. I mean, I think as artists, art is a force. It’s like a, a force of nature, and it just couldn’t go away. Although you were saying that your culture was like, no <laugh>, but yeah. Just such a big force of nature that you, you, you had to do it. And do you feel like, this is a personal question about your own cancer. Yeah. Do you feel like that squashing of your art, which was squashed, led to getting sick, possibly and not expressing yourself on a full level?

Amy (14:42):

I’m, I don’t think it was that mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, I think it was more the the stress, the cho stress that I have mm-hmm. Pushing life stress mm-hmm. <Affirmative>. Because technically, even though I wasn’t doing traditional art, I was I started as art director at Yahoo, then I was our user experience director in large design agencies. And then I was a senior UX director. But my last job, my boss is one of the most abusive boss ever.

Lauren (15:13):

Yeah. That you

Amy (15:14):

Don’t wanna work with <laugh>. Yeah. I mean, I, I sort of become like

Lauren (15:18):

A stresses.

Amy (15:20):


Lauren (15:21):

I mean, it’s interesting, right? Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative>, because you still had an, you still had an art influenced job. Yeah. And they didn’t, they didn’t necessarily abide by, I guess my viewpoint of art. I mean, art to me is a, is a tool for getting all of that stress out of you. Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative>. Yeah. And then to, to see that there are art, art jobs out there that are actually causing stress. Stress is really, it’s really hard to Fair enough. I mean, that’s how, like, honestly, when you mentioned the figure drawing class, right? Yeah. That was my experience in art school was mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, that it was stressful. And I just, I felt so removed from that process because I had never felt that way about art. Art was never that for me, art had always been this tool for self-expression and to have this conversation with myself and to heal those wounds that I didn’t even understand at the time. And so I feel like we have such an interesting conversation, you know, like, like just a, like, we’re not really connecting all the dots necessarily in the whole world in terms of art. Yeah. Does that make sense to you?

Amy (16:36):

Yeah, absolutely. And this is why I think you write on the spot in a sense that when I got sick, and this is like, you know, when I was diagnosed with stage four cancer, obviously it’s like literally at the bottom of life, right? Yeah. Like your life, like, you know, I wrote this piece about Cancer Box, and I was like, the clock is ticking like Salo Dali on the wall. Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative>, literally, it’s like tripping, right? Yeah. There’s no sense of time. It’s like every day you just like, go to the hospital, go do the treatment, come back, make sure you still have the energy to either sometimes sit or, or light down. Right. And then, you know, it’s one day it’ll time. Yeah. And so what’s interesting is when I didn’t draw for maybe like 12 years until I got sick, like, you know, cuz when I was working mostly in technology, we do digital, you know, <inaudible> right?

Amy (17:35):

It’s computer. Right? Like, I haven’t even touched, you know, brushes for a while. So I pick up my, up my art brushes after 12 years. Mm. I started writing poetry, which is, I’m committed to getting my book published. <Laugh>. Okay. Yeah. Right. I love it. You know, the funny thing is like, when I was young, I wrote like a little Chinese poetry and I show it to my older sister and then she looked it, I thought it was really good, like, in my mind, in my whatever the kid’s mind, right? It was like something about hungry for this, this gray apple garden in your dreams or something like that. And then she was like, well, maybe you wanted write when you have more life experience, <laugh>. So, so I had a poem called Stage four stage. And actually recently I just got accepted into Harvard Harvard’s effective writing program.

Amy (18:27):

And that was the writing sample that required to submit. And I choose to submit that one because it, it encapsulate my, the spirit of my book really well, cuz I’m compared the stage of life to the stage of performing art to the stage of cancer. Mm. Yeah. So it’s like very sort of methodological, right? Like, you know, sort of kind of looking at different areas in life, right? And so back to when I was sick, you know, and, and so to your key point, right? Like, you know, when it bounce, when it back to just very sort of human survival instinct mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, we go back to art, just like, you know, the Italian dance. The same thing is when humanity is threatened. When my living, my life, life of death, it’s being threatened. I go back to my innate desire for arts.

Amy (19:22):

I pick up my airbuses after 12 years. I listen to music when I’m bedridden, when I’m in chemo, when I’m nervous, right? Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative> I appreciate even, like when I have to go into surgery, they have like a little bit of music. They have like a little bit of arts on the seating mm-hmm. <Affirmative> to kinda calm their patient down. Right. and then the only exercise program that I was allowed to attend, because my immune system is severely compromised, right. It was at the cancer center and it happened to be a music and dance program. So, so so that’s why like, you know it, it just kinda like, you know, it’s been like distant from me for so long. All a sudden every single modality came back to support me. Right. You know? And part of the challenges that I’d realized, even though I, when the good day, I can make it to the cancer center and attend that class, but on the days that I couldn’t make it, you know, I was too sick to go or don’t have a volunteer driver, then I have no activity for several weeks.

Amy (20:26):

Right. And this is why inspired me to build this technology platform that allow people to have access to music, dance and art when they stuck at home, you know, for a patient like me or elderly like my mom. Right. So when I, to answer your question, like do I know, how do I know that a salary might recovery at the time, in the midst of that, I have no clue. Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative>, I was just doing well. My heart mm-hmm. Is desire four. Right. But looking back, I realized that make a huge difference for me. And specifically <laugh> one year after I finished my cancer treatment I was at our school’s pool party. And so I, I attended this graduate study program at Singway d University at nasa. And halfway through that program I was diagnosed with stage four cancer. Right.

Amy (21:21):

So you can see all my classmates and faculty were really worried about me mm-hmm. <Affirmative>. And so at that pool party, a year after our leadership director came up to me and he said, Amy, I’m so happy to see you here because when I went to Stanford to see you in the hospital, I was so worried about you. Mm. And I was like, came to Stanford to see me. Oh, I didn’t know. Cause I was so sick. I was Right. You know, passed out because I had a complication from my feeding to surgery. Mm-Hmm. And the doctor left too much air in my DIA frame and was so painful. So, you know, they discharged me and, but you know, their other hospital where I went to get my radiation treatment, they looked at me, they’re just like, she does not look right. Like, you gotta send her back to their hospital.

Amy (22:10):

Cause our other faculty was supporting me. Right. And so I ended up, was in a hospital for like a whole week. They were waiting to see if the air will kind of fo it out, but it doesn’t work because it’s in the diaphragm. So eventually they had to drill another hole to suck out all the air in my diaphragm. And then halfway through that, that process, this is their, our leadership director visited me, but I was so sick, I have no clue that he was actually there. Oh, wow. And cause what happened is the doctor who’s care for me told him he was worried if I can make it due the end of the year, and that was five months uhhuh. So this was July, 2012 mm-hmm. <Affirmative> mm-hmm. <Affirmative>. So to end the year that was five months. Wow. You see, 10 years later, I’m still here telling you guys the story and still singing and dancing.

Amy (23:05):

Right. So, so do I know that actually a Saturday? Well, I dunno for sure. But there is evidence the doctors worry if I could even make it to five months. And here I am. Right. I, I, I recover. You know, and the funny thing is that each time when I go back to the doctor, they’ll be like, you’re looking good. <Laugh> <laugh>, they don’t tell you until like five years later. Congratulations. You know, because with cancer sometimes you’ll never know what’s gonna come out. Right, right, right. So, yeah. Yeah. So I’m, I’m definitely a living evidence of how arts can really contribute to human health. Yeah. Yeah. Okay. So tell tell us about

Lauren (23:45):

Dance for healing a little bit. And you, you talked about developing technology to help people when they’re on their own when they can’t leave the home. So how does that work?

Amy (23:56):

Yeah. So do I, after Yahoo I was an audio director at Yahoo. Then I was recruited by at t inter r and d. And we were like a little bit sort of like a small lab on a giant shoulder, the large at and t labs, right? Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. And so we do all kinds of technology experiments you know, ai, you know, all kinds of stuff like voice recognition and all of that. My first iPhone app was actually featured New York Times, guess what it’s called? <Laugh>. It saw a basic human knee and it was on St. Patrick’s Day. Can you guys guess?

Lauren (24:34):

Hmm. What?

Amy (24:36):

Basic human saw. A basic human what do people do on St. Patrick’s Day?

Lauren (24:41):

Celebrate <laugh>,

Amy (24:44):

Do you celebrate drink? I’m kidding. Yeah, you’re right. You on the topic. So what do people do after they drink?

Lauren (24:51):

What do they they, well, I feel like they drink and they chant and they dance around and they go a parade.

Amy (24:58):

And what’s the basic human need? After they drink,

Lauren (25:02):

They go to the bathroom. <Laugh>. Yeah.

Amy (25:06):

So, so the app is actually gonna have to pee, literally have to pee without an ee. Anyway, so it was literally an experiment app. Cuz technically this is like 2009, right? When a lot of.com crash, a lot of business closed mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, you know, and so at t bought yellow pages.com. And so we were trying to figure out which category. Local search has a lot of pool. And so we have, we restaurant data, we have hotel data, we have gas station. And we had this fun idea like, oh, nobody has bathroom data. We do have some <laugh>, we have it. Right? And so we thought, okay, maybe it’d be fun to build this app could have to pee, like looking for bathrooms, right?

Lauren (25:49):

Yes. Yes. No, I mean, seriously. Yeah.

Amy (25:53):

And then thanks for the graphic design school I went to, which is literally one of the top eight four coming in the country. I, I designed this logo under loading screen of the app. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> is I I modified the traditional bathroom sign into like a lake class fi <laugh>. So basically they were doing like a little sort of PPP dance, you know, like when people get nervous

Lauren (26:19):

Like dance.

Amy (26:21):

Anyway. Yeah. It was hilarious. So anyway so our app without much promotion, it got picked up first by NBC’s Chicago. It, it went on to New York Times being featured as app of the week. Technically they feature two bathroom search app, but they use my graphic <laugh>.

Lauren (26:40):


Amy (26:40):

Exactly. And so the other funny part is we had like a this sort of urgency detector because, you know, this is like at the beginning of Apple iPhone app design, right? Like, you know, when Apple actually open up application design for developers, right? And so, so there’s a function where you could bill where you shake the phone in doing something mm-hmm. <Affirmative>. And so what we did is when you shake the phone, you have to pee really bad. We’ll find you in the closest bathroom <laugh> funny. Anyway, anyway, and then we call it urgency detector.

Amy (27:20):

So anyway, so New York Times suddenly had a good fun you know, capture of that. Like, oh, here, I guess what it’s even urgency detector. You orange <laugh>, just keep shaking your phone. So anyway so, so yeah, so it started by New York Times and then it, it got picked up by other, you know, major media. And then and then like, you know there’s like some article on gizmoto. It’s like have to, people will say your underpants <laugh>. Mm-Hmm. And then, and then like the funniest backstory is this is supposed to be an experiment app. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, right? So initially our at t you r and d does not have an official developer’s title, you know, in our app store, right? Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, like not the developer name, it wasn’t official at t, but because we are getting so much media app and then we started putting the name at t inter interactive r d <laugh>, you know, on the app.

Amy (28:22):

And so few weeks later, this article Audible came out saying, at t wanna help you pee uhhuh <laugh>. Anyway, so that’s auto fun story. So that just give you a little bit, you know, sort of idea about, you know, how we use a lot of experimental technologies and ai. And so the quick follow up after that is we use the traffic to long take a whole suite of, have two apps, so like, have to eat, have to drink. Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative> have to snack, you know, all these different type of stores, right? Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> and apparently have to e is everybody love to eat. Mm-Hmm. And so it surpassed all the traffics all sudden. And so our researcher scientists in AI was able to use AI model to train the app to all automatically review the restaurants based on the data that we pull from like other you know, user feedbacks or, you know, review data.

Amy (29:17):

So we could rate a restaurant based on five different aspects, like for example, the atmosphere, the mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, you know, whatever the quality of food Right? Know. Yeah. And then we also use that experiment to discover a lot of discrepancy because we have the data scientists occasionally go and check it. And I design an interface where there’s a self-report data. Like you could say, you know, the rating of the, the restaurant by thumbs up, thumbs down, and you know, whatever. Right? But our machine learning is, is, is pull all these data from the prior reviews. So if we identified as a discrepancy between the cell report data, which is you tap, you know, right. A little button, right. Versus the machine learning data. So for example, you could say the restaurant, the atmosphere is okay, but I don’t know why the machine review says it is really good mm-hmm.

Amy (30:07):

<Affirmative>. And so our data scientist can go in and pool and say, oh actually somebody have a common like, oh, today’s such a beautiful day. My girlfriend smells so good. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, you know, I love her flower dress or whatever that, that not that has anything to do with the restaurant atmosphere, but a machine will pull those keywords and categorize it as a high quality atmosphere and stuff. Right? So we use that experiment to like really done a lot intricacy about how do I, as a designer to utilize my skill to help, you know, improve the AI algorithms. And you know, like and then there’s also a lot of behavior design, like, you know, kind of learning from not just like the urgency of using the bathroom pal, also different behavior, how user do the search, right? Because we also have another app for speak for It, where you don’t really speak in on your app, and this is back in 2009 mm-hmm.

Amy (31:02):

Where there’s barely any voice talking apps, right? Mm-Hmm. But you could have pull up your phone and say, find me the nearest gas station. You know, like, you know, and then we work with speech recognition you know, scientists in the at t lab to like literally you know, figuring out what are different scenario and user behavior when they search for things, right? So a lot of these, my background now is actually being adapted and implemented into our AI who just received allowance you know, from U S P T O. And I actually was invited to speak at USPTO o’s Asian-American native Hawaiian Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Mm-Hmm. And as a keynote speaker, right? Yeah. So I wrote a fairly emotional LinkedIn post because my dad is a geo mathematician mm-hmm. <Affirmative>. And so part of the reason I grew up, like, you know, having this education that heavily focused on STEM is because of my father.

Amy (32:02):

Right. And my, my mom is a teacher, unfortunately, my dad passed away from lung cancer. Mm. Right? And so, so, so like, you know, when U S P T O introduced me as an inventor, you know, it just feels so good. Like, oh, my dad must be proud of me. Right? That’s awesome. <Laugh> having his youngest daughter being called as an inventor, right? Yeah. So our you know, back to dance for heating, our AI is patented. And our goal is really to make sure people have different preference, different health conditions, different, you know, emotion chef, different body energy, like you all use different, you know, variety of assess, accessibility, mobility needs mm-hmm. <Affirmative> mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, they’ve been met through our technology so we could personalize music and dance and art catered to individuals needs. And if you look at the industry, majority of the fitness program, unfortunately, they dec decide for fit people, right.

Amy (33:04):

<Laugh>. Right. Really, they’re targeting people with different, you know, accessibility or mobility needs. Right. yeah. The only one out there may be like pt, but you know, I myself was guilty of like not really doing PT myself. Right? Yeah. Right. And I’m not alone. Like, you know, when I was part of their Stanford design for dance class where, you know the conference organizer invited the, one of the top executive in Kaiser I know. And he was pretty excited, you know, like when we discussed d as like a healing modality and one of the most effective way of change behavior mm-hmm. <Affirmative>. Cause he was also saying like, yeah, you know, I have all these PT exercise prescribed to me, and guess how many times I did? And we were trying to guess. And he goes like, zero, zero.

Lisa (33:51):

Yeah. No, for sure.

Amy (33:52):

Yeah. Right. Yeah. So, you know, and so part of it, our mission is really making healthy habits accessible, supported, and fun in reaching the right people, all abilities, age, race, and gender. Yeah. That’s make a difference. Awesome. Yeah.

Lisa (34:10):

Yeah. So dance for healing is a movement. And then how do people get ahold of you? Like is it through the hospital system or through, how does, how does that happen?

Amy (34:20):

Yeah, so our long-term mission is really maximize the opportunity for all the beneficiaries as a patient. I recognize that asking patient to pay is not an ideal you know sort of long-term sustainable way. And so our long-term goal is to like say government procurement, value-based care insurance reimbursement. Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative> mm-hmm. <Affirmative>. And as you probably understand, healthcare is moving very slowly, right? Yes. So, so that is still in the work. And we definitely got introduced to va. You know, I had a mentor who actually used to be the former president of a r p, who’s been incredibly supportive, introduced me to bunch of people. Mm-Hmm. And then we also get quite a bit of traction. Like now we got funded by N nih recruiting minority diabetic. And so this will ver verify the efficacy and help us move, do this, you know, validation of getting insurance reimbursed about based care.

Amy (35:28):

At the same time, you know, we also targeting are easier to adapt, you know, the corporate wellness programs. And during covid we also started a community health program. And so we have like 375 people signed up. The only challenge is, is this kind of program without funding support, it’s difficult for us to keep it long term sustainable. Right. Right. And so, yeah, my immediate urgency at the moment is to fulfill our recruitment needs for the N I Hs study. And so this is funded by national insured Minority Health and Health disparity and we are recruiting minority diabetics. The caregiver, the caregiver must be living in the same household with them because for, you know, for prevention concerns and safety, this is a hundred percent online study that we need to ensure the safety protocol is set up to protect patients when they do it at home.

Amy (36:30):

And then we were match them to an intergenerational buddy that is compatible to them based on, you know, their initial survey for their puffins and, you know, whatever their needs. Right. and then from that, they would receive a fitness watch because we are gonna track their activities and they will also receive an orange scale. The scale will help them track their B m i their weight. Mm-Hmm. You know, you probably know diabetes patient, they, you constantly monitor their weight and mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, they also, but sugar levels, right? Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. And then they get to attend our AWE program once we updated the platform based on the preference for the initial group interviews. And we’ll gather those feedback and update the platform. And then we’ll launch this, our signature a we mind movement program, <laugh>. So this is a program that achieve high success when I first started at the Stanford Cancer Program, that we actually got net promoter score in 91 Wow. Compared to Healthcare 24 <laugh>. Yeah.

Lauren (37:40):

Wow. That’s incredible.

Amy (37:42):

Yeah. And we also track like anxiety, depression reductions you know body energy level improvement. Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative> pain reduction, majority of the people reported from zero to four. They report either through or four, so that means 80 to 100% improvement. That just really absolutely encouraging, you know, it makes me happy that to see so much benefit the outpatient received and things for that initial pilot data we were able to apply for N NIH funding. And then we, and then how, go ahead. You a, you have a question ask

Lauren (38:18):

How many, how many people are you hoping to get into this current n NIH study? So

Amy (38:23):

Technically the, not that many, but unfortunately, I realize because we targeting minorities it’s actually harder than just, you know, general population to recoup patients. Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative>. And we do encounter some slowness of recruitment partners that are large Healthcare Institute that moving very, very slowly mm-hmm. <Affirmative> so technically it’s 30 participants. Okay. Yeah. That with 10 patients, 10 caregiver and then 10 intergenerational buddy. So it’s like 20 households, 30 participants total. Yeah.

Lauren (39:02):

Mm-Hmm. Okay. And so the, the, it feels to me like you’re combining, you’re like, it’s like you <laugh>. Mm-Hmm. Right? Cause you have a, you have your like innate like you, you talked about your innate drive towards movement and art and, but then you have the the STEM side, right? The Yeah. Computer, the ai. And it’s like you’ve combined it in a way that is accessible your hope. Right. and you’re, you’re almost, you’re at the point where you’re almost trying to prove the proof is in the pudding. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, you’re at that point where you’re like, you know, I mean, let’s get this straight. Like Lisa and I talk about this all the time. We know, we already know Yeah. That our heals people. Right. But it’s great that you’re going to that research side of it cuz the more research and science we can have that basically proves what we almo we already know. Sounds awesome. So I, you know, we’ll put all your information so people can reach out to you to be in this study study. That would be excellent.

Amy (40:08):

Yeah. And, and all this is really easy, you know, thanks to my design communication background, <laugh>, it’s literally just, and I just studied that dance for heating.com. Just remember Dance for Heating is the number four, not f o r. Yeah. So it has like a video about the program mm-hmm. <Affirmative> a little bit information about you know, like what are we focused on and then what are they gonna get from the program? It’s, I would say on average there were patient would get about an individual go get $750 value. You know, with the free for our program, they also get the finished watch and orange scale. They also get like a little, you know, gift card at the end, $25. So all adds up about 750. And then if it’s each household, they only get one orange scale because they can share the same scale. Right. On average, they, that’s probably maybe slide less than 750. But in general you know, each house will probably get, I lost the actual data, but it’s somewhere about 1300 to 1500, and then each individual will get like maybe seven 50 if it’s not in the same house. Yeah. Mm-hmm.

Lauren (41:22):

<Affirmative>, that’s powerful.

Lisa (41:23):

I mean, what you’re doing is the now, but also the future. I mean, as we Yeah. Know, our populations get older and older, we’re not gonna be, you know, out

Lauren (41:31):


Amy (41:32):

So. Yeah, absolutely. And I think you definitely own the very important key point is part of the reason what I do is my mom is getting older, right. She’s 82, but according to her own Chinese way of calculating age mm-hmm. Age, you know, she thinks she’s 84 because Chinese calculate the 10 months in your stomach as your age too. Right. and, you know, I moved back to LA during Covid originally just like, okay, I get to spend some time with my family, but I’m still here because I realized my mom really needs care. Right. And so I pretty much, the, the biggest thing that I’m proud of is, during Covid, I was able to spend time with my mom. I changed her entire care to a complete different medical system, change her medicine and everything. Right. You know, and so people like me or elderly like my mom, you know, we really need accessible, you know, engaging platform that easy to access, right? Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative>. So our app, you know, thanks for my design background and user experience. Everybody looked at it so simple, just push a few button <laugh>. Yeah.

Lauren (42:44):

I mean that, I think that’s great. I think you know, I, I do think that focusing on our health, right? Yeah. It can be physical, mental, emotional. Yes. Yeah. The more user-friendly we can make it. Yes. Mm-hmm. The more accessible we can make it, the the better for all of us. Right. As we know you make the individual better, you make the world better. Mm-Hmm. So, I, I appreciate what you’re doing.

Amy (43:08):

Yeah. So the, the exciting news is with the N ni one, so we build their bio tracking integration in a ly sensitive ai right? Our audit proposal currently pending is actually building Alexa. So it mentioned an elderly could say, Alexa, lock me into dance for healing. And then, you know, like our app do, Alexa can ask them do voice, how do you feel right now? And I already share, part of my project in at t is actually voice recognition. So I’m kind of going back to a technology I’m already familiar with mm-hmm. <Affirmative>. So that’s exciting. And then the other one that we currently got funded, a tiny little one is actually from a Chinese community health association that we are building a language integration. Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative> for people like my mom, we English to Chinese translation.

Lauren (44:02):

Oh yeah.

Amy (44:03):

So the video, yeah. They, cause you know, music, dancing, art had no border, right? Yeah. Mm-Hmm. So my mom could still watch a little video and try to imitate a moment, but it will be helpful if the instructor say something mm-hmm. <Affirmative> that she could either read or hear it, right? Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. And so we recently just do like a little prototype mm-hmm. Of a one audience video with like, you know, screen cap, you know, like transcription. And I show it to my mom i’s like, Hey mom, what do you think? You know, like, I was like, oh yeah, good. You know, now I can understand what you’re saying, <laugh>. That’s all right. Yeah. So see that’s another, another thing about accessibility, right? Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative> like, you know, cause in this country, unfortunately, minority, especially those with language barrier immigrants Right? They also suffer from more severe health disparities. That’s right. And so our next expansion, once we accomplish the Chinese one, we actually targeting Spanish. So English, Spanish, and you probably already know Spanish love to dance, right? <Laugh>. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Music, dance and art is so rich in the culture. Right. You know, so that would be our’s. Expansion to that. Yeah.

Lauren (45:17):

Wonderful. Well, thank you so much for joining us today. It was great to hear some of your story and see how you’re, I mean, it, it makes sense why you are where you are. And thank you for what you do, <laugh>.

Amy (45:30):

Yeah. Thank you. Thank you. Yeah. And I love the, your interview too, and thank you so much for your commitment, you know, to bring arts and awareness, you know, to all the people who listen to the podcast and who be all over the world. And I definitely love, I love it. Enjoy your work, <laugh>.

Lauren (45:47):

We’re a movement. Thank you so much. Yeah.