University of Wisconsin–Madison

Archive: Voice and Swallow Clinic staff helps dancer overcome breathing disorder

When 14-year-old Kelly Conaghan started having trouble breathing during her Irish dance practices and performances, she knew something was wrong. After a diagnosis of paradoxical vocal fold motion disorder (PVFM), a condition in which movement of the vocal folds restricts the airway, she sought help to overcome the issue at the UW Voice and Swallow Clinic.

Katherine McConville, MA, CCCSLP, an associate clinical speech pathologist with the Department of Surgery’s Otolaryngology division, met with Conaghan in regular sessions to help the young dancer understand factors that influence breathing. The sessions have allowed Conaghan to continue practicing and performing. Next month, she will compete in the World Irish Dancing Championships in London. Click here to watch a WISC-TV news story about Conaghan and McConville.