Harkness Center for Dance Injuries at NYU Langone Celebrates 25 Years of Quality Care for Dancers

Harkness Center serves as an international leader in research and evidence-based affordable care for professional dancers

The Harkness Center for Dance Injuries at NYU Langone Medical Center is celebrating its 25th anniversary as a provider of high-quality, affordable medical care for the New York City dance community.  

In recognition of the milestone, the Harkness Center will be honored Nov. 12 at the 2014 NYU Langone Musculoskeletal Ball, to be held at the world-famous American Museum of Natural History.

In 1989, the Harkness Center for Dance Injuries was founded through a partnership with the Harkness Foundation for Dance and the Hospital for Joint Diseases (now part of NYU Langone Medical Center) to respond to a critical need for specialized and affordable care in the New York City dance community.

"We founded the Harkness Center for Dance Injuries to fulfill a mission to deliver high-quality care to dancers who have contributed so much to the cultural and economic landscape of the New York City and world dance stage, yet could not afford the medical care they desperately needed to maintain their careers," says Donald Rose, MD, the Center’s Founding Director.

More than 50 percent of dancers are uninsured or underinsured and cannot afford necessary medical care. The health care professionals at the Harkness Center understand these challenges firsthand: most of them having been dancers themselves.

Thanks to continuing support from a very generous philanthropic community, the Harkness Center offers highly specialized prevention and care without turning away any dancer due to financial hardship. An orthopaedic clinic is offered 10 times a month. The Center also provides about 10,000 physical therapy visits each year.

In addition, Harkness Center professionals routinely provide care for internationally-renowned dance companies and Broadway shows.

"Time after time, The Harkness Center for Dance Injuries has saved me and countless others from pain and premature or unnecessary surgeries. They truly listen and remember the details from visit to visit, from year to year; they guide us and heal us," said Elizabeth Streb, director of STREB Extreme Action Company and Recipient of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fellowship Award. "Basking in the love of their calling to save dancers, athletes, and all people who through some exciting moment found that they went just a bit too far with their own physicality. They put us back together and allow us to fly again."

Another major component of Harkness Center is its unique research into understanding the dancer’s body and the elements of their work environments that may affect injury risk. The Center’s acclaimed research has produced globally accepted approaches to the recognition, treatment, and prevention of dance injuries.

In turn, the Center’s evidence-based education program is a central staple of its mission. Continuing education courses are offered to health care professionals, in addition to popular programs designed for dancers

"Harkness Center for Dance Injuries has made such a difference in our dancers’ lives, not only through exceptional care, but through a constant expansion of our understanding of how dancing bodies, spirits, and minds can thrive in this art form," says Virginia Johnson, former Prima Ballerina, Artistic Director of the Dance Theater of Harlem, and Editor-in-Chief of Pointe Magazine.

Media Inquiries:

Ryan Jaslow
Phone: 212-404-3511
Ryan.Jaslow@nyumc.org