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, 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 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 90 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.
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.
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.
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.
Ashley Houck, DPT, PT
Dr. Houck specializes in performing arts medicine. She graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in biological sciences and received her doctor of physical therapy degree from Touro College Graduate School of Health Sciences. After she graduated, Dr. Houck received the Maimonides Award for demonstrating the highest professional ideals of a health sciences practitioner. She is a dancer and violinist.
Johann Howard, DPT, COMT, Physical Therapist
Dr. Howard has worked with performers for 20 years. He is a certified orthopedic manual therapist and holds mastery level medical massage certification in both the hip and shoulder. He is also certified in advanced levels of the Kinesio Taping® Method. Dr. Howard has worked with the Mark Morris Dance Group, the Rockettes, American Ballet Theatre, and New York City Ballet, and is an award-winning martial artist and sabre fencer.
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.
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.
Marissa T. Schaeffer, DPT, CSCS
Dr. Schaeffer earned her bachelor of fine arts from The Conservatory of Dance at Purchase College, SUNY, and her doctor of physical therapy with honors from Columbia University. She is also a certified strength and conditioning specialist. Dr. Schaeffer has worked with The Conservatory of Dance at Purchase College, SUNY; Barnard College Department of Dance; Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater; New York City Ballet; and dance companies for various Broadway shows.
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, MS, 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 has earned 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.
Kyle Castillo, Solange Cole, Kayla Harkness, and Stephanie Rivas, 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.
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.