Healthy Approaches to Dance Practice and Performance IADMS One Day Workshop

  • Posted on: 19 January 2017
  • By: griffbro95

The International Association for Dance Medicine & Science (IADMS) Regional Conference, Healthy Approaches to Dance Practice and Performance, at Texas A&M University, will offer lecture movement sessions which, focus on current concepts in healthy approaches to dance training and performance. This one-day workshop will provide some basic essentials and practical strategies for dance training and performance, which promote the overall health and well-being of the dancer. 


Guest Speakers:

Dr. Margaret Wilson, University of Wyoming Dance Program

Melissa Hausman, CHI St. Joseph Health Athletic Trainer for Texas A&M University Dance Program

Vanessa Muncrief, Physical Therapist who works with dancers in Austin, TX

Christine Bergeron, Texas A&M University Dance Science Program

Carisa Armstrong, Texas A&M University Dance Science Program

Andrea Alvarez, Texas A&M University Dance Science Program

Sally Donaubauer, Physical Therapist who works with dancers at the Harkness Center for Dance Injuries in New York City


**Other possible guests will be confirmed at a later date



Registration for the Healthy Approaches for Dance Practice and Performance Conference is FREE.

**Registration is now open**

The registration link can be found here


IADMS Regional Conference

Healthy Approaches for Dance Practice and Performance Schedule


8 – 8:45am                Welcome: Registration and Breakfast

8:45 – 8:55am           Opening remarks

8:55 – 9:40am           Dancer as Athlete - Vanessa Muncrief, PT; Ballet Austin

9:40 – 9:50am           Q & A

9:55 – 10:40am         Using Rotator Discs to Increase Strength and Endurance in External Rotation in Dancers - Carisa Armstrong, MFA                                           and Christine Bergeron, MFA; Texas A&M University

10:40 – 10:50am       Q & A

10:55 – 11:40am       Motor Control Training for the Dancer's Hip - Sally Donaubauer, PT, DPT, OCS; Pittsburgh, PA

11:40 – 11:50am        Q & A

11:50 – 1:15pm         LUNCH BREAK

1:15 – 1:45pm           Research in Dance - Andrea Alvarez, MFA; College Station, TX and Margaret Wilson, PhD; University of Wyoming

1:50 – 2:30pm           Warming Up in Technique Class - Amanda Clark, MFA; Cleveland, OH

2:30 – 2:40pm           Q & A

2:45 – 3:30pm           Movement Session - Margaret Wilson, PhD; University of Wyoming

3:30 – 3:40pm           Q & A

3:45 – 4:30pm           Using a Roller for Myofascial Release - Melissa Hausman, MS, ATC, LAT; CHI St. Joseph Health for Texas A&M                                                     University

4:30 – 4:40pm           Q & A

4:40 – 5pm                Closing Remarks


Class Descriptions

Dancer as Athlete

Speaker: Dr. Vanessa Muncrief, PT, DPT

Dancers should be viewed not only as artists, but athletes as well. As such, there are sport considerations that should be applied to the young dance community. This lecture will address cross training for dancers, relative energy deficiency in sport syndrome, and pointe readiness. Cross training for dancers is a key component to injury prevention. Relative energy deficiency syndrome can result in early onset osteoporosis and stress fracture and pointe readiness education should be more prevalent in community dance studios. Proper knowledge and awareness of these issues can keep your dancers healthy and strong.

Dr. Muncrief, PT, DPT has over 15 years of experience treating the dance community in NYC and Austin and enjoys sharing her experiences gained from working with a wide variety of both professional and avocational dancers.


Using Rotator Discs to Increase Strength and Endurance in External Rotation for Dancers

Speakers:  Carisa Armstrong, MFA and Christine Bergeron, MFA; Texas A&M University

Movement Session

Maintenance of external rotation at the hip joint is essential in securing a dancer’s safety in numerous dance steps. The loss of external rotation at the hip can allow for misalignments of the knees and ankles providing an opportunity for serious injury to occur. Many dance movements are done in a quick manner with a large amount of force, velocity and torque increasing the danger for the dancer. It takes dancers many years of training to develop the muscles needed to protect against these types of injuries. Through the use of rotator discs the participants will engage in a number of exercises geared toward external rotation focusing on muscular strength and muscular endurance. Workshop leaders will address safety issues related to the use of the rotator discs and implementation of these exercises. These exercises are dance specific building a stronger connection to the work that is being done in the studio. At the conclusion of the session participants will have an understanding of how rotator discs can be used in studio training to increase the muscular strength and muscular endurance of external rotators. Participants will be introduced to rotator discs and a series of exercises that have been used to train dancers. They will learn how to use verbal cues and tactile feedback to facilitate proper alignment and implement safety measures. The session leaders will provide rotator discs for this session. Participants should be in good health, free from injury, somewhat fit, and should wear workout clothes.


Motor control training for the dancer’s hip:  a movement session

Speaker:  Sally Donaubauer, PT, DPT, OCS

Movement Session

Hip injuries including anterior impingement and acetabular labral tears are common in dancers.  Decreased lumbo-pelvic-femoral motor control may contribute to these injuries.  Other contributing factors may include poor hip mechanics including excessive anterior translation of the femoral head in the acetabulum, poor kinesthetic awareness of gluteal muscles, and decreased gluteus medius and maximus strength.  Dancers often attempt to work on the strength component however improving strength does not always translate into improved motor control and function.  During this movement session participants will be guided through a series of Pilates-based mat exercises in various positions with a focus on lumbo-pelvic stability, hip disassociation, and glute recruitment.  Concepts applied in the mat exercises will then be applied in standing functional and dance specific exercises with a focus on dynamic hip stabilization.  Participants will also learn common compensation patterns as well as verbal and tactile cues to facilitate proper execution.  At the conclusion of the session participants should have many tools they can use to improve mechanics and control at the hip for their dancer students, clients and patients. 


Using a Roller for Myofascial Release

Speaker:  Melissa Hausman, MS, ATC, LAT; CHI St. Joseph Health for Texas A&M University

Movement Session

Suffering from a myriad of injuries, stress, and strains, professional and amateur athletes must maintain flexibility, power, and strength, as well as improve fitness as prophylactic against injury. Similarly, individuals in the performing arts must maintain either a high degree of movement or strain to perform a task. Without effective treatment, performing repetitive movements, holding positions which create tension and strain, or bracing patterns will cause injury and ultimately affect their ability to perform. Myofascial release is a specialized physical and manual therapy used for effective treatment and rehabilitation of soft tissue, fascial tension, and restrictions. The benefits range widely from improved joint range of motion to neuromuscular efficiency. Therefore, performing artists will benefit greatly and should incorporate myofascial release techniques into their regular training schedules. Many myofascial release techniques and therapies promote the philosophy that the mind and body work together to maintain health. 




Guest Speaker Biographies: 

Dr. Vanessa Muncrief, PT, DPT, CPT, RYT is a physical therapist specializing in orthopedics, manual therapy, dance medicine, yoga, and Pilates. She is in her 5thseason as the Chief Physical Therapist for Ballet Austin and previously spent 10 years on faculty as a senior clinician at Harkness Center for Dance Injuries in NYC.  Dr. Muncrief has provided backstage care for Dance Theater of Harlem, Martha Graham, Merce Cunningham, and Cirque du Soliel, as well as multiple Broadway shows and touring companies.  Vanessa currently treats patients at Select Physical Therapy in Austin, Texas, and enjoys teaching as a Clinical Instructor and sharing injury prevention lectures with area schools, studios, and

Melissa Hausman, MS, ATC, LAT is a board certified athletic trainer, licensed in the State of Texas, and a member of the National Athletic Trainer Association. She received her Bachelor's degree in Athletic Training along with a minor in strength and conditioning from Neumann University in Aston, Pennsylvania. While attending Neumann University, Melissa participated as the president, choreographer and a member of the Neumann University Dance Company. She received her Master's degree in Health Education from Texas A&M University. As part of her Master's degree professional internship, Melissa completed an educational tutorial of the Dancer Wellness Screening. Prior to pursing her career in athletic training, Melissa practiced dance, baton twirling, and cheerleading. With 20 years of progressive dance and twirling training and experience, Melissa has competed and performed to various audiences throughout the world. Over the past four years, Melissa has served as the certified athletic trainer for the U.S. National Baton Twirling Championships.

Sally Donaubauer, PT, DPT, OCS is an orthopedic physical therapist who specializes in Dance Medicine and Pilates-based rehabilitation. She has worked exclusively with dancers at the Harkness Center for Dance Injuries in New York City and provided on-site physical therapy backstage at Broadway shows such as Wicked and In The Heights, as well as for several dance companies including the Paul Taylor Dance Company and the Cedar Lake Contemporary Dance Company. Sally has been a certified Pilates instructor since 2000, and has extensive experience teaching Pilates group and private sessions in addition to incorporating Pilates into rehabilitation. She has been involved with teaching anatomy for dancers and Pilates instructors, Pilates teacher training courses, Pilates continuing education courses, Dance Medicine courses, Pilates for Physical therapy lectures, community and collegiate dancer injury screenings, and injury prevention workshops throughout the country. In addition, she has presented at regional and international IADMS and PAMA conferences, and was co-founder of the Dance Clinic at the Cleveland Clinic. Sally was a professional modern dancer for several years in NYC prior to becoming a PT and studied ballet and jazz at the professional level as well.