University Orthopedics: Keeping Dancers on Their Toes

Everything is beautiful at the ballet, right? Well, most of the time it is, but what happens behind the scenes to keep the Festival Ballet Providence (FBP) dancers dancing? Blood, sweat, and University Orthopedics!

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Equally as important as rehearsing and stretching, rehabilitating is an integral part of a dancer’s routine. Dance is the only art form in which the human body is the  complete medium: the instrument, the canvas, and the clay. Keeping a dancer’s body safe while it executes the incredibly difficult movements seen on stage is no simple task. Fortunately for FBP, the expert team at University Orthopedics has our backs. And hips. And feet…

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A few weeks ago, physical therapists at University Orthopedics conducted fitness consultations with the artists of FBP to assess the health of each dancer’s body. Through a series of physical evaluations, the dancers tested their stamina, strength, and power to determine their current state of physical fitness. The team at University Orthopedics combined the data gathered from participants with their extensive knowledge of the human body to tailor personalized wellness programs for each individual dancer.

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The benefits of University Orthopedics sponsorship of FBP are limitless, but the Company’s Physical Therapist in Residence, Jennifer Davis, is perhaps the most meaningful. A former professional ballet dancer herself, Jen Davis fully understands the unique stress being put on a dancer’s body. She says:

“On-site physical therapy for Festival dancers is so important.This is a small company and Misha counts on each member. Avoiding dance injury, or addressing it quickly, enables dancers to perform at their best, helping to ensure both their personal achievement and also the company’s success.”

Jennifer Davis visits the Hope Street studios once a week to treat the dancers, ensuring minor irritations do not become full blown injuries. Of her experience with treating the Company, Davis says, “My job is to help these elite level athletes address the bumps, bruises, irritated tendons and stuck vertebra before daily issues develop into ongoing problems. The energy here is positive and constructive. The dancers have prepared for years to reach this level of dancing professionally. Everyone is striving to do their best work.”

“I am so glad that University Orthopedics has made it possible for us to work together to help these dancers stay in the game and perform at their highest level.”

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To see the strong dancers of FBP in action, purchase tickets for the Company’s 40th Anniversary Season here.


This post was written by Kirsten Evans. The author is in her eighth season as a Company Dancer with Festival Ballet Providence. She is also the Company PR & Communications Assistant, as well as the writer of a personal blog, Setting The Barre.


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