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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.


Donald J. Rose, MD, Director

Dr. Rose is an orthopedic surgeon and founding director of NYU Langone’s Harkness Center for Dance Injuries, as well as a clinical associate professor at NYU Langone. He is the orthopedic consultant to the Joyce Theatre and Conservatory of Dance at Purchase College, State University of New York (SUNY); numerous dance companies including Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Cirque du Soleil, Martha Graham Dance Company, and STREB Extreme Action; and many Broadway and off-Broadway shows. Dr. Rose received the prestigious Dance Library of Israel Documents of Dance Award in 1997, the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2002, and the UMDNJ Robert Wood Johnson Medical School Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2012. He has written numerous chapters and papers on sports medicine, dance injuries, and arthroscopic surgery, and has been listed as a “Top Doctor” by New York Magazine and Castle Connolly. Learn more about Dr. Rose.

David S. Weiss, MD, Associate Director

Dr. Weiss is an orthopedist specializing in sports medicine and performing arts medicine. He is associate director of NYU Langone’s Harkness Center for Dance Injuries and an attending physician and clinical associate professor of orthopedic surgery at NYU Langone. Dr. Weiss serves as orthopedist for Mark Morris Dance Group, Paul Taylor Dance Company, Parsons Dance Company, Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, Ballet Hispanico, The Juilliard School, and many Broadway shows, including Hamilton, Book of Mormon, Chicago, Wicked, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Beetlejuice, and Hadestown. He has served as orthopedist for more than 90 Broadway and off-Broadway theatrical productions over the past several decades. In July 2020, he became president of the board of directors of the Dance Research Foundation. Dr. Weiss received his bachelor degree summa cum laude from Brandeis University, where he was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa, and his medical degree from Yale School of Medicine. He completed his orthopedic and sports medicine training at Yale New Haven Medical Center, NYU Langone Health, NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue, and University of Chicago Medicine. Learn more about Dr. Weiss.

Marijeanne Liederbach, PhD, PT, ATC, 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.

Clinical Staff

Patti Cavaleri, PT, DPT, OCS, Physical Therapist

Dr. Cavaleri received her bachelor of science from the University of Wisconsin—Parkside and her doctor of physical therapy from Columbia University. She successfully completed the Performing Arts Physical Therapy Fellowship at the Harkness Center for Dance Injuries. She has a background in competition dance and is an instructor in full apparatus for classical Pilates. She has experience in treating people of all ages and has provided backstage physical therapy care for multiple Broadway shows.

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.

Sarah Edery-Altas, DPT, OCS, Clinical Specialist

Dr. Edery-Altas received a bachelor’s degree in neuroscience and a doctorate in physical therapy from Columbia University. She is currently in a PhD program at Seton Hall University’s Department of Interprofessional Health Sciences and Health Administration and is also in the University of Alberta’s Graduate Certificate in Pain Management program. Previously, she was the American Physical Therapy Association’s (APTA) performing arts special interest group research chair, and currently she is an APTA independent study course task force co-chair. Dr. Edery-Altas is a former professional ballet dancer, who danced as a member of both the Pennsylvania Ballet and the Boston Ballet.

Heather Heineman, DPT, OCS, WCS, 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, DAT, MS, ATC, CSCS, RYT, Athletic Trainer

Dr. 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 doctor of athletic training degree from A.T. Still University, and is a certified strength and conditioning specialist and a registered yoga teacher.

Ashley Houck, DPT, PT, Physical Therapist

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, PT, MPT, CSCS, Assistant PT Supervisor, Fellowship Program Coordinator

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 bachelor of fine arts from the North Carolina School of the Arts and a doctorate in physical therapy from the University of Washington. A board-certified orthopedic clinical specialist, she has extensive training in functional manual therapy through the Institute of Physical Arts and is currently working toward certification. Previously, Dr. Plumer-Holzman danced professionally in New York City for nine years, performing in both modern and contemporary ballet companies. She has studied with choreographer and anatomist Irene Dowd since 2000, assisting her for five years. Dr. Plumer-Holzman has been a dedicated yoga practitioner and teacher in the Ashtanga yoga tradition for more than 25 years and has taught anatomy and kinesiology for yoga teachers since 2006.

Megan Richardson, MS, Lac, ATC, Per Diem 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, Physical Therapist

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.

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.

Administrative Staff

Meg Bronson-Davidson, 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 treatment.

Nicholas Dill, MS, Lac, Dipl Ac (NCCAOM®), Research Associate

Mr. Dill is a licensed acupuncturist who earned his master of science degree from the Tri-State College of Acupuncture. He holds a dual bachelor’s degree in dance and psychology from NYU and is a certified yoga teacher and freelance dancer.

Jessica Mattsson, Program Coordinator

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.

Linda Ryan, Rehabilitation Research Coordinator

Ms. Ryan coordinates the center’s research studies and other research activities. She has a bachelor’s degree in dance from George Washington University with a minor in exercise science. She is a freelance dancer and choreographer, and has completed several artist residencies in choreography and performance art across the country.

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.