Our Dance Medicine Team
Members of our specialized team at NYU Langone’s Harkness Center for Dance Injuries aim to advance the quality of dance science and improve the delivery of dance medicine. We do this by conducting ongoing research, establishing standards of excellence for dance medicine practitioners, and serving on the boards and committees of national and international dance medicine associations and journals.
The members of our team have worked with some of the top dance companies and Broadway productions.
Donald J. Rose, MD, Medical Director
Dr. Rose is an orthopedic consultant to numerous dance companies, including Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Dance Theatre of Harlem, and Cirque du Soleil. He also works with The Conservatory of Dance at Purchase College, the State University of New York (SUNY), and the Joffrey Ballet School. Dr. Rose has lectured nationally and internationally and has written numerous chapters and papers on sports medicine, dance medicine, and arthroscopic surgery. Learn more about Dr. Rose.
David S. Weiss, MD, Associate Medical Director
Dr. Weiss is an orthopedist who specializes in performing arts medicine. He provides orthopedic care to the Mark Morris Dance Group, Paul Taylor Dance Company, Ballet Hispanico, and the Juilliard School, among others. He has served as orthopedist for more than 75 Broadway and off-Broadway theatrical productions, including Hamilton, Wicked, and The Book of Mormon. He lectures frequently on dance medicine. Learn more about Dr. Weiss.
Marijeanne Liederbach, PhD, ATC, PT, CSCS, Director
Dr. Liederbach is a physical therapist and certified athletic trainer who holds a doctoral degree in biomechanics and ergonomics. She has provided backstage therapy for hundreds of dancers, dance companies, and Broadway shows and has published numerous papers and lectured internationally. Dr. Liederbach danced professionally and worked as a critically acclaimed choreographer. In 2010, she was inducted into the Dance Library of Israel Hall of Fame.
Joey C. Fernandez, MD, Staff Physician
Dr. Fernandez is an internal medicine and sports medicine physician interested in injuries and medical issues affecting performing artists. Dr. Fernandez has provided medical services and event coverage for various professional performing arts companies and athletic teams. He also studied dance and performed with the Joffrey Ballet School.
Alison Deleget, MS, ATC, Program Manager
Ms. Deleget attended Indiana University as a ballet major before transitioning to athletic training. She is certified by the Pilates Method Alliance as a Pilates instructor and by Polestar Education as a Pilates rehabilitation specialist. At the Harkness Center for Dance Injuries, Ms. Deleget provides backstage athletic training services for various Broadway shows and elite dance companies in New York City.
Faye E. Dilgen, DPT, Program Manager
Dr. Dilgen specializes in manual therapy, is Pilates-mat certified, and provides rehabilitation and functional training for performing artists. She has treated dancers from a variety of companies and schools—including Merce Cunningham Dance Company and Molissa Fenley and Company— for more than 20 years. She has also developed curricula for the Feld Ballet TechSchool and Dance Theatre of Harlem.
Jennifer Swift Dalva, DPT, CSCS, Physical Therapist
Dr. Dalva, a physical therapist, graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a bachelor of arts in French language and culture and holds a doctorate in physical therapy from New York University. She has studied orthopedic manual therapy through the North American Institute of Manual Therapy and is in the process of completing her Gyrotonic® apprenticeship requirements for the Gyrotonic Expansion System®.
Sarah Edery-Altas, DPT, Physical Therapist
Dr. Edery-Altas received a bachelor's degree in neuroscience and a doctorate in physical therapy from Columbia University. She is a former professional ballet dancer, who danced as a member of both the Pennsylvania Ballet and the Boston Ballet.
Kayla Harkness, Rehabilitation Attendant
Kayla is a certified Gyrotonic® apprentice, and assists physical therapists and patients in preparation for and at the conclusion of treatment. She helps patients execute exercise programs established by the physical therapists safely and accurately.
Heather Heineman, DPT, OCS, Clinical Specialist
Dr. Heineman received her doctoral degree in physical therapy from Columbia University's College of Physicians and Surgeons. Her experience in dance, aerial arts, yoga, and Pilates inform her manual therapy and Pilates-based rehabilitation.
Joshua Honrado, MS, ATC, Athletic Trainer
Mr. Honrado performs injury prevention assessments and provides rehabilitation. He received his master of science in athletic training from Seton Hall University and is a certified yoga instructor.
Johann Howard, DPT, Physical Therapist
Dr. Howard holds mastery level medical massage certification in both the hip and shoulder and is skilled in kung fu and sabre (fencing). He is also certified in Kinesio Taping® Method and has worked with the Mark Morris Dance Group, the Rockettes, and New York City Ballet.
Mark Hunter-Hall, MPT, Assistant PT Supervisor
Mr. Hunter-Hall specializes in manual therapy and Pilates-based rehabilitation and is a clinical educator. Mr. Hunter-Hall spent 12 years performing in musicals, including the Broadway production of Cats and the national tour of Oklahoma!
Lisa Keskitalo, DPT, Per Diem Physical Therapist
Dr. Keskitalo received a bachelor’s degree in neuroscience from Tulane University and doctorate in physical therapy from LIU Brooklyn. Her prior professional experience includes dancing with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and teaching dance in conservatory and university settings.
Rebecca Kesting, DPT, Physical Therapist
Dr. Kesting received a bachelor’s degree in dance and kinesiology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a doctorate in physical therapy from Columbia University. She completed her orthopedic physical therapy residency at NYU Steinhardt with clinical hours at Harkness Center for Dance Injuries. She is currently studying to obtain her orthopedic clinical specialist certification.
Elisa LaBelle, PT, MS, OCS, Physical Therapist
Ms. LaBelle received a bachelor’s degree in dance from the University of Michigan and a master’s degree in physical therapy from Central Michigan University. She completed a residency in orthopedic physical therapy at NYU and is a board-certified orthopedic clinical specialist. Ms. LaBelle also holds certifications in Pilates mat and equipment training from Kane School in New York City.
Lauren McIntyre, ATC, Clinical Specialist, Emergency Management Liaison
Ms. McIntyre provides backstage care to Broadway shows and dance companies as well as injury prevention assessments and educational lectures to the dance community. She is an on-site certified athletic trainer for The Conservatory of Dance at Purchase College, SUNY.
Sarah Plumer-Holzman, DPT, OCS, Physical Therapist
Dr. Plumer-Holzman holds a doctorate in physical therapy from the University of Washington and is currently a resident physical therapist at the Harkness Center. She is an alumna of the North Carolina School of the Arts in contemporary dance and danced in New York City for 15 years, performing in both modern and contemporary ballet companies. Dr. Plumer-Holzman has been a dedicated yoga practitioner for more than 20 years and has taught anatomy and kinesiology for yoga teachers since 2006.
Megan Richardson, MS, LAc, ATC, Per Diem Accupuncturist and Clinical Specialist
Ms. Richardson is a certified athletic trainer specializing in manual therapy, Pilates-based rehabilitation, and functional training for performing artists. She has provided backstage care to numerous dance companies and Broadway shows. She sits on the development committee of the International Association for Dance Medicine and Science.
Julia Rosenthal, DPT, Physical Therapy Resident
Dr. Rosenthal completed her bachelor’s degree at NYU, where she created an individualized major in the culture and philosophy of healing. While at NYU, Dr. Rosenthal also studied vocal performance, integrating both Alexander and Feldenkrais techniques into her work. Dr. Rosenthal received her doctorate degree in physical therapy from Columbia University, where she received the departmental award for orthopedic excellence, the Mary E. Callahan Award, and the Promising Future Alumni Award. Her professional experience includes working with patients in the areas of pelvic rehabilitation, inpatient rehabilitation, and orthopedic manual therapy.
Emily Sandow, DPT, OCS, Supervisor of Dance Physical Therapy
Dr. Sandow is a board-certified orthopedic clinical specialist in physical therapy. She provides onsite physical therapy services to major dance companies and Broadway shows. Dr. Sandow trained in ballet and modern dance at The School of American Ballet and the Fiorella H. LaGuardia High School of Music, Art, and Performing Arts.
Suzanne Semanson, DPT, OCS, RYT, Clinical Specialist
Dr. Semanson brings more than 20 years of experience in movement-related arts, including dance, martial arts, and yoga, to her specialty as a dance medicine physical therapist. She has provided backstage physical therapy care to several Broadway productions and dance companies in New York City. Dr. Semanson received her doctoral degree in physical therapy from Northwestern University.
William Zinser, ATC, Athletic Trainer
Mr. Zinser holds a dual bachelor’s degree in athletic training and health promotion from the University of Texas at Austin. He is currently seeking his master’s degree in exercise science, with a concentration in strength and conditioning from the Milken Institute of Public Health at George Washington University. Mr. Zinser has a gymnastics background, having competed in high school and college. He also studied circus aerials and acrobatics at CircoArts, a division of Christchurch Polytech in New Zealand.
Colleen Hahn, Nicholas Dill, and Thekema Berry, Medical Office Associates, and Jessica Mattsson, Program Associate
The medical office associates welcome patients to the Harkness Center, schedule appointments, and answer any questions you have about the treatment process.
Leigh Schanfein, MS, Research Associate
Ms. Schanfein conducts inter-rater reliability, patient-reported outcomes, and rehabilitation progression research, as well as injury and musculoskeletal complaint epidemiological research through the International Performing Arts Injury Reporting System. She has a master’s degree in kinesiology with a specialization in biomechanics, and currently dances professionally as a freelancer in New York City.
Kristen Stevens, MA, Program Coordinator
Ms. Stevens coordinates education programs and marketing. Previously, she worked as a professional ballet dancer in companies including Norwegian National Ballet and BalletMet Columbus, and she is now on faculty at the American Ballet Theatre’s JKO School Children’s Division. She holds a master’s degree in arts administration from Teachers College, Columbia University.
Marshall Hagins, PhD, PT, Physical Therapist
Dr. Hagins is an associate professor, Division of Physical Therapy, Long Island University, and is the physical therapy consultant for the Mark Morris Dance Group.