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.

Dance Medicine Specialists at Harkness Center for Dance Injuries

The members of our team have worked with some of the top dance companies and Broadway productions.

Directors

Donald J. Rose, MD, Director

Dr. Rose is an orthopedic consultant to numerous dance companies, including Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Dance Theatre of Harlem, and Martha Graham Dance Company. 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.

Staff Physicians

Elizabeth Barchi, MD, Staff Physician

Dr. Barchi is a board-certified pediatrician with an added qualification in pediatric sports medicine. Her early career with Brandywine Ballet sparked both her passion for dance medicine and her career in the innovation of medical care and training of dancers. During her fellowship training at NYU School of Medicine, she studied dance medicine under the mentorship of Dr. Rose and Dr. Weiss. She is thrilled to be a part of the groundbreaking medical and research teams at Harkness Center for Dance Injuries.

Lauren Borowski, MD, Staff Physician

Dr. Borowski is a board-certified family medicine physician with an added qualification in sports medicine. A dance major at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts led Dr. Borowski to pursue a career in sports medicine with a particular interest in dance and performing arts medicine. She is excited to be in New York City to work with the amazing members of its dance community.

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.

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, 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 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 a Certified Gyrotonic® Trainer. Dr. Dalva studied and performed with Pennsylvania Ballet as a student and in the semiprofessional program at the Conservatoire de danse d’Avignon. She has worked backstage at Wicked, Les Misérables, Bright Star, and Paul Taylor Dance Company.

Sarah Edery-Altas, DPT, OCS, 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 Gyrotronic® trainer, 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, CSCS, RYT, Athletic Trainer

Mr. Honrado provides backstage care to Broadway shows and elite dance companies, as well as injury prevention assessments and educational lectures to the dance community. He received his master of science degree in athletic training from Seton Hall University and is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in athletic training from A.T. Still University. Mr. Honrado is a certified strength and conditioning specialist and a registered yoga teacher.

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!

Rebecca Kesting, DPT, OCS, 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. 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.

Emily Sandow, DPT, OCS, Program Manager of Physical Therapy

Dr. Sandow holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and economics from NYU, and graduated with honors from Columbia University with a master’s and doctorate degree in physical therapy. Dr. Sandow is a frequent consultant on dancer health, is an instructor in NYU Steinhardt’s Department of Physical Therapy, and provides services to major dance companies and Broadway shows. Dr. Sandow trained in dance at the LaGuardia High School of Performing Arts and 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.

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.

Administrative Staff

Thekema Berry and Kyle Castillo, 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.

Nicholas Dill, Research Associate

Mr. Dill holds a dual bachelor’s degree in dance and psychology from NYU. He is a certified yoga teacher and freelance dancer, and is currently pursuing his master of science degree with a concentration in acupuncture from the Tri-State College of Acupuncture.

Jessica Mattsson, Program Associate

Ms. Mattsson provides administrative support throughout the department. She holds dual bachelor’s degrees in sport management and communications from Rutgers University. She is also a CrossFit Level 1 Trainer and head trainer of Crossfit Kids at Crossfit 103 on Staten Island.

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.

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.