Injury Prevention Services and Programs

Injury Prevention

The Harkness Center for Dance Injuries proactively addresses injury prevention in five ways: through our innovative and unique FREE injury prevention assessment program, through injury prevention lectures and workshops, through pre-season functional capacity screenings, through ergonomic evaluations of dance company work settings, and through raked stage seminars. These programs offer dancers a chance to investigate their health concerns with medical professionals who are trained in the evaluation, treatment, and prevention of dance injuries.

  • To learn more about our Injury Prevention Services and Programs or to schedule a workshop call us at 212-598-6054 or email us at harkness@nyumc.org


One-on-One Injury Prevention Assessment Program ~FREE~

The Harkness Center offers one-hour, free-of-charge injury prevention assessments for dancers. During the injury prevention assessment session each dancer is seen individually for an hour by a therapist who reviews the dancer's complaints, medical and nutrition histories and performance during a battery of tests. The screening is designed to evaluate the risk the dancer is exposed to and to discuss the dancer’s concerns before an injury occurs. At the conclusion of the assessment the dancer is given an individually tailored injury prevention exercise regime with recommendations for modification of their technique, training strategies, footwear and/or dance environment. The aim of the screening is to maximize each dancer’s potential for wellness. Thousands of dancers have participated in this program and have rated it 3.9 out of a perfect 4.0 for its relevance and helpfulness.

Injury prevention assessments are by appointment only and may be scheduled by contacting our administrative office at: 212-598-6054.

LOCATION: 614 2ND AVE (Between 33rd and 34th St) SUITE G FLOOR 2, NEW YORK, NY 10016

Injury Prevention Assessment Online Intake Form

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Injury Prevention Lectures and Workshops

The Harkness Center provides injury-prevention lectures to community groups upon request. These programs are intended for dancers, teachers, parents, and/or management, as requested by the individual organization.  Topics can be chosen from a list of most-often requested, or custom-made to meet the specific needs of the school/company.   Examples of popular topics include: injury prevention, cross training, nutrition & hydration, pointe readiness, anatomy, and environmental safety.

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Functional Capacity Screenings

Functional Capacity Screen

Since 1993, the Harkness Center has been offering group "pre-season" screenings for its affiliated dance companies and schools, to detect injury risks early in order to reduce their occurrence later in the season. A typical group screen involves the setting up of several examination stations staffed by orthopaedists, physical therapists, athletic trainers and student volunteers. Screenings take approximately one ½ day to conduct. Each dancer in the company or school is given a report describing their unique tendencies with recommendations and instruction about how to address their particular injury risks. The consulting organization is then provided with a report showing the training and environmental risks of their facility, while fully protecting the privacy of each individual dancer participant.

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Ergonomic Evaluations

Ergonomic assessments of the dance workplace are offered to companies as another form of injury prevention education. In these evaluations, objective assessments of the kinesiophysical and psychophysical demands of the work environment are considered in terms of their risk for producing injury or illness in the working dancer. Factors considered include training time exposure, safety of movement patterns, safety of environment (floors, temperature, costumes, sets, preparation to handle emergencies, etc.), teacher training, and company policies regarding breaks, hydration, stretching and conditioning practices, body weight regulations, etc. Training modifications and/or treatment protocols are then designed to better prepare the dancer for the demands of his/her environment. When appropriate, recommendations about physical space design and/or company policies concerning rest intervals, conditioning practices and nutrition/hydration practices are made.

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Raked Stage Seminars

The Harkness Center's staff are qualified raked stage instructors in accordance to the guidelines set forth by Actors Equity.  Raked stage consultations are fit to the individual production and are aimed at providing perfomers information on how to avoid the risk of injury.  This is done in a group session during the rehearsal period and individually for replacement actors, satisfying the requirements of the Production Contract.

Informational Lectures

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What past Injury Prevention Assessment participants have said:

Loved It!..detailed full-body assessment and homework program clearly tailored to the individual.

Pleasant and supportive demeanor of staff along with excellent combination of therapeutic and dance knowledge.

The therapist is very knowledgeable about the types of stress different dance styles place on the body. I got what I hoped for out of the assessment.