Healthcare Coordinator Anneke Collins Plays Crucial Role in Theater Arts Program

Upper School Healthcare Coordinator Anneke Collins is not only at the forefront of Sidwell’s Health Services team, but is also a leader and promoter of the fine arts within the Sidwell community. With her extensive dancing and musical theater background, Collins contributes to Sidwell’s theater arts program when she is not serving as the Middle and Upper School nurse.

After graduating high school, Collins attended Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in Richmond, Virginia, where she received a Bachelor in Fine Arts for Dance and Choreography.

“During my dance degree, I had to take classes on anatomy for dancers, where I learned a lot about the body and how to stay healthy,” Collins said. “All of this became very interesting to me, and at that point I knew I wanted to go into healthcare,” she added.

Collins began her work in the healthcare industry by volunteering at local hospitals in Richmond while she finished getting her dance degree at VCU.

After taking three years to teach ballet, jazz and lyrical dance following her graduation from VCU, Collins started at Marymount University in pursuit of a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

Her first job after graduating nursing school in 2016 was in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at the Children’s Hospital in Washington. In the fall of 2018, Collins transitioned to being a school nurse at Sidwell for the Middle and Upper Schools. In November 2021, Collins became the new Upper School Healthcare Coordinator.

When COVID-19 hit and Sidwell pivoted to distance learning, Collins said her job “definitely took an intense turn.” She explained how the entire Health Services team worked in conjunction with the Medical Advisory Team to collaborate on protocols and testing requirements to keep students and teachers safe as they reentered the classroom.

Collins’ impact on the Sidwell community, however, reaches beyond Health Services. During her time at Sidwell, Collins has been Head Choreographer for the spring musicals, including “Into the Woods,” “Newsies,” “Annie” and “Urinetown.”

“I did musical theater kind of on the side growing up, mostly in high school, just as an adjunct to the dancing I did outside of school,” Collins said. “I love musicals and love watching them, so it came very natural to me to start choreographing them here at Sidwell,” she continued.

Sarah Markovits, Upper School Chorus Teacher and Theater Arts Music Director, collaborates with Collins to produce the spring musical every year.

When asked about her experience working alongside Collins, Markovits responded that she loves how Collins can work with students with a wide range of dance experience.

According to Markovits, Collins “has very creative ideas for the dances and is willing to adapt her numbers to people who are anywhere from very, very advanced to people who have never danced a day in their life before.”

Collins also works closely with Upper School Theater Teacher Sentell Harper, who directs school productions.

When asked about what impact Collins has made on the production of “Urinetown,” Harper said, “She’s always been such a great positive energy to our cast because that’s just who she is. Her energy is contagious, and it does not go unnoticed.”