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  • Iman Mamnoon

SISU October Player of the Month: Dana Nathanson

Dana has been playing rugby for almost a year now and has quickly become one of our best players. You can hear her the fullback position during every game directing play, and she bravely takes every kick for Michigan. We will be sad to lose her for 7s season as she ventures abroad to Spain, but look forward to next fall when she will be back on the pitch!

Year: Junior

Major: Communications and Spanish

Minor: Art and Design

Hometown: Portland, Oregon

why rugby?

The real question is - why any other sport? Kind of kidding, kind of serious. Soccer was my first love, but rugby has become my one and only in just 10 months. I joined sophomore year because I was looking for a team and my uncles had always pestered my siblings and me to play their favorite sport. I love rugby because the game is defined by bringing people together, no matter their shape, size, or speed - everyone is equally as needed on the field. In women's sports specifically, it's hard to find the same body-positive celebration of strength that rugby takes to the grave. I wish I had started sooner!

tell us about your summer rugby experience.

This summer I was roped into playing Legacy Rugby, where practices and tournaments quickly became the highlights of my SE Michigan weeks. During some games I would look around the field and realize that all 7 of us were either current University of Michigan students or Alumni, which was both comforting and exciting. I also really enjoyed meeting new teammates from other Michigan schools and helping grow Michigan's rugby community.

what do you see yourself doing in 5 years?

When I'm 25 I hope to be involved in sports in any form possible. Whether that's being a surfing instructor (I don't know how to surf well - yet), a coach or working for the WNBA - I have no idea. But I do know that sports have given me my greatest joy, so being surrounded by athleticism sounds like a plausible dream.

favorite place in Ann Arbor?

The sky. The clouds have so much personality here. I think they stand out because they seem so close, so tangible, so layered. If you live in Ann Arbor, look up! Winter is coming, time is running out.

who is your biggest inspiration and why?

My biggest inspirations are Serena Williams because she's the Greatest Athlete of All Time, and professional long distance athlete Alexi Pappas. I look up to Alexi because she studied film and poetry in school while being a full-time athlete. Since then (2012) she's made 3 films and ran in 1 Olympics. Finding a role model who's athletic and artistic - and killer at both? Hard to do.

favorite food?

Tonkotsu Shoyu Ramen

favorite quote?

"I was born a bitch, I was born a painter." - Frida Kahlo

if you were an ice cream flavor, which would you be?

Easy. Olive Oil from Salt n Straw in Portland. Not too sweet, not too savory and satisfyingly rich. All qualities I strive to exhibit everyday.

where do you most want to visit?


#dana #nathanson #october #sisu #playerofthemonth

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