What is Dance PT?

Dance Physical Therapy is focused on the prevention, assessment, and treatment/management of dance related injuries. In order to treat a dancer holistically, a provider specializing in dance PT should have a strong understanding of dance technique, the dancing and performance environment, rigors of a rehearsal and performance schedule, age related changes associated with a dancer’s life and the effects of shoe-ware, costumes and sets on a dancer’s health.   


Common injuries to dancers:

  • Plantar Fasciitis

  • Sesamoiditis

  • Ankle sprains/Chronic Ankle Instability

  • Stress Fractures

  • Ankle impingement, FHL tenosynovitis

  • Meniscus and ligament injuries in the knee

  • Patellar dislocation

  • Patellar tendinopathy

  • Hip impingement/Hip labral tears

  • Muscle Strains

  • General overuse injuries


Dance injuries are not limited to the lower extremities, with conditions involving the spine and shoulder affecting dancers in all forms of dance, not just ballerinas. These injuries can include the following:

  • Spondylolysis/Spondylolisthesis

  • Disc problems with radicular symptoms

  • Thoracic Spine pain

  • Rotator cuff tendonitis and/or tear


How is Dance PT Different from regular PT?

As athletes, many dancers have the characteristics of hypermobility, extreme flexibility and core strength.  To perform at their best, treatment must address the specific demands placed on the body by dance.  Dance PT focuses on helping the body perform at its maximum by carefully analyzing the whole movement system, the dancer’s technique (often in conjunction with a dance teacher) and their movement patterns.  Rehabilitation focuses on specific dance skills and muscular imbalances, in order to treat and prevent injuries.  The goal in dance PT is to maximize what a dancer can do rather than placing restrictions on them and not allowing them to dance.  Treatment can include but is not limited to manual therapy, motor control training, Pilates-based exercise, core strengthening, plyometrics, floor barre, mobile disc work, Theraband exercises, and activity modification as needed.


Pre-Pointe Assessments:

At Brown-Rogers we are able to assess pointe-readiness in the young dancer. This assessment is based on research and recommendations by the International Association of Dance Medicine and Science and the Harkness Center for Dance Injuries. 

How it works:

A dance teacher may recommend a student get a physical therapy assessment and will have that student contact Brown-Rogers Therapy to set up an appointment.  The therapist will perform a series of standardized tests and measures including movement analysis.  At the end of the assessment, the therapist will provide a recommendation of “Ready”, “Recheck in 6/12 months,” or “Not appropriate for Pointe-work.”  If the student is told to recheck in 6 months, they will be given exercises geared toward improving their areas of weakness,so that they can be successful at the reassessment.  A brief summary will be given to the student and dance teacher following the assessment.


Dance Injury Prevention Screening:

At Brown-Rogers Therapy we believe in preventing dance injuries or stopping them early before they become a problem and impact dance training or performance. We utilize a standardized dance injury prevention screening tool based on current research.  The test takes approximately an hour and includes physical tests and measures and movement skill assessment. At the end of the assessment, the dancer is categorized as “high,” “medium,” or “low” risk and given exercises targeting their specific areas of weakness.  



  • Facebook Social Icon
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
For All Needs Text or Call:
Fax: 225-926-2470