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.

Directors

Donald J. Rose, MD, Medical Director

Dr. Rose is an orthopaedic 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 orthopaedic surgeon who specializes in dance medicine. He provides orthopaedic care to the Mark Morris Dance Group, Paul Taylor Dance Company, and the Juilliard School, among others. He has served as orthopaedist for more than 50 Broadway and off-Broadway theatrical productions, including 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.

Staff Physicians

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. Learn more about Dr. Fernandez.

Clinical Staff

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, Supervisor of Dance Physical Therapy

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

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 brings more than 25 years of dance training and performance experience to her practice and is thrilled to be part of the Harkness Center team, furthering its mission to enhance dancers’ health, wellbeing, and quality of life.

Heather Heineman, DPT, Physical Therapist

Dr. Heineman received her doctoral degree in physical therapy from Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons. Dr. Heineman has studied ballet, modern and contemporary dance, and aerial arts and has performed professionally in New York City.

Joshua Honrado, MS, ATC, Project Associate

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.

Marc Hunter-Hall, MPT, Physical Therapist

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, PT, 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.

Shannen Kirchner, DPT, PT, Physical Therapist

Dr. Kirchner studied dance and natural science at Muhlenberg College prior to receiving her doctorate in physical therapy from Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons. She studied Pilates at the Kane School in New York City and is currently pursuing studies in orthopaedic manual therapy through the North American Institute of Manual Therapy. Dr. Kirchner has also studied at the Herman & Wallace Pelvic Rehabilitation Institute.

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, Resident 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, ATC, 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.

Emily Sandow, DPT, OCS, Assistant Supervisor of Dance Physical Therapy

Dr. Sandow is a board certified orthopaedic clinical specialist in physical therapy. She provides on-site physical therapy services to major dance companies and Broadway shows. Dr. Sandow trained in ballet and modern dance at The School of American Ballet.

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.

Administrative Staff

Colleen Hahn, Nicholas Dill, and Thekema Berry, Medical Office Associates

The medical office associates welcome patients to the Harkness Center, schedule appointments, and answer any questions you have about the treatment process.

Leigh Heflin, MSc, MA, Program Coordinator of Education and Marketing

Ms. Heflin is the director of educational outreach programs. She coordinates educational sessions on injury prevention for dancers, both locally and nationally. She has been a consultant for Dance Spirit, Dance Magazine, Backstage, and other dance publications in regard to topics about dancer health and fitness.

Jessica Mattsson, Medical Office Associate and Clinic Registrar

Ms. Mattsson serves as a liaison between patients and insurance companies. She helps schedule appointments, surgeries, and physical therapy sessions. She also assists with payment issues and financial aid.

Leigh Schanfein, MS, Research Associate

Ms. Schanfein’s research is focused on how humans control balance and the role the senses play in helping to control posture. As part of her involvement with the International Performing Arts Injury Reporting System, Ms. Schanfein interviews dancers about their experiences with injuries.

Adjunct Faculty

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.