Out of office – Shiraz Khan on competitive dance

Shiraz Khan explains why it’s so important to hold onto the hobbies we go into dental school with so we can remain healthy both in body and mind.

Please introduce yourself

Hi, my name is Dr Shiraz Khan.

What do you get up to in your spare time away from dentistry?

In my spare time I love to dance competitively.

I have been doing this for approximately 12 years and really enjoy this time away from dentistry as an alternative passion.

Are you a foodie? Why and what particular food do you go for?

In terms of being a foodie, yes I am. But I like all sorts of food.

I have to say probably a favourite is Mexican.

Are you into any sport? If so what sport and why did you get into it in the first place?

I love sport. Sport has been a big part of who I am.

My interest in dance came about when I was younger when I also would play cricket. As I got older I got into football and basketball. Now and again I still like to play basketball with my friends.

What type of television/movies do you like – any guilty pleasures?

Absolutely. Although I’m busy, when I get the chance to watch Netflix I will happily binge on a season of whatever.

Do you like to travel and do your hobbies take you anywhere in particular?

Travelling is a big passion of mine. I am very fortunate to travel within dentistry but also love travelling outside of dentistry.

Competitive dance takes me to many countries and many locations that I may not have seen otherwise.

I think travelling is an important facet of personal development. It allows you to become richer, absorb more culture and learn more about the world.

Why is it important to have hobbies away from dentistry?

This is very important to me. It is extremely important to have hobbies outside of dentistry because it’s a very demanding profession.

The day-to-day goings on in dentistry are extremely time consuming and can be mentally draining.

Whilst it is a very rewarding profession, it is ultimately a very energy-consuming profession. Therefore, having an outlet of any type or nature, being creative or not, is absolutely pivotal to ensuring you remain fresh and excited about your work.

Like many, we have competed at a relatively high level. This was a requirement for our application to dental school. But often when we are in dental school our hobbies often fade.

It is our duty to remain healthy, both mind and body, for our patients. Part of having a healthy mind is ensuring that you exercise, getting those endorphins released and having adequate downtime so that you can do the best for your patients.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Whatever it is that keeps you, don’t ever forget it and don’t ever stop it.

When I first qualified I was almost too shy to make a point of my competitive dance outlet for the fear of judgment.

The truth is, it’s who you are. That’s who people should see you for. Learn to accept what other people think and remain true to who you are. That’s the happiest life you can live.


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