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    This Woman Went Viral For Being A PhD Student By Day And A Go-Go Dancer By Night

    "Far too often, our actions and self-perceptions are (un)consciously influenced by societal constructs and expectations."

    A woman on TikTok recently generated more than 8.5 million views with her video about how she is a medical student during the day and a go-go dancer at night:


    I miss sleep tho 💤 #phd #scientist #laboratory #gogo #dancer #nightlife #club #research #biology #student #gradschool

    ♬ Roses - Imanbek Remix - SAINt JHN

    And people started flooding the comments, saying they were proud of her for working hard for what she wants in life:

    They also loved how she was showing how women can have brains and dance moves:

    Basically, people were just applauding her for working hard and being a BOSS at both:

    So, who is this woman?! Her name is Danielle Minichino and she's a 27-year-old med student. BuzzFeed spoke to Danielle, who said she has a Bachelor’s Degree in Behavioral Neuroscience and is currently in her fourth year of a Biomedical PhD Program studying the molecular mechanisms that drive a rare pediatric disease.

    And, while in school, Danielle also works as an independent contractor through an entertainment company — because she loves it, and also because it helps pay the bills. "I’m usually dancing at large nightclubs in Atlantic City. I grew up taking dance classes at a studio run by an amazing woman who raised all the dancers to feel empowered and beautiful," she said.

    Photographics Photography

    The above photo was taken by Photographics Photography at The Pool After Dark at Harrah's Casino and Resort in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

    Danielle told BuzzFeed that she actually has a minor in dance performance. "I love the feeling I get from performing on stage and I knew at a young age that I always wanted to incorporate that in my life. I knew it would be tricky figuring out a way to dance while in my PhD training. Go-go dancing was the perfect option; not only is it flexible, but it gives me more financial freedom."

    Photographics Photography

    Danielle decided to share her school/work life on TikTok to her 44 followers at the time, but never imagined it would go as viral as it did. "If I would have known that many people were going to see it, I would have put a bit more thought into my word choice! Based on the comments, though, the majority of the viewers seem to be picking up what I’m trying to get across — empowerment and breaking stigmas. Far too often, our actions and self-perceptions are (un)consciously influenced by societal constructs and expectations. We are more than what any label can define us as; whether it be in regards to our gender, age, race, sexual orientation, or career. Yes, I’m a scientist, but that’s not all of who I am," she said.

    "In all honesty, I’m not sure I’d manage without having dance as an outlet. Not only is it fun and exhilarating after a full week of (potentially failed) experiments, but it enables me to make payments on my student loans, which relieves a lot of my anxiety. However, managing my time and energy has taken some practice. At first, I was concerned that my dancing would suffer since I prioritize my research, but I realized it didn’t because I enjoy it so much. I also can’t neglect the fact that I rely on my go-go friends for help. Whether it’s covering my shift last minute because an experiment is taking longer than expected or providing me with the lip color or hair piece that I forgot — they’re always there to support and help me," she added.

    Danielle said she doesn't have plans to stop dancing after she graduates. "However, I am definitely starting to feel the physical ramifications of inverting my sleep schedule a few times a month. If I stop, it’ll be because I’m just too tired," she laughed.

    Tom Briglia

    Danielle added that her message is simple: "Don’t let a box be built around you that may prevent you from being genuinely you. Step out of that box! Be you, sis!"

    Bill Robling Photography / SHAWBOX Studio

    She also has an online shop that recently opened. "50% of our proceeds go to different charities every month. Check out my shop for more information and, ya know, maybe buy a shirt or four," she added.

    You can follow Danielle on Instagram and TikTok.