A center where art, medicine blend to benefit dancers

As Kasia Wasilewska knows, performing those gravity-defying leaps and twisting into eye-arresting poses can involve as much pounding athleticism as graceful art. And when dancers get hurt, are hindered by mechanics or bothered by nagging injuries, they can tap into the Cedars-Sinai/USC School of Theatre Dance Medicine Center. There, professionals, students and amateurs may benefit from an innovative blend of art and medicine. 

The center is led by: Margo Apostolos, PhD, director of dance at the USC School of Theatre, who has a background as a dancer, educator, scientist and expert in human and robotic movement and choreography; and Glenn Pfeffer, MD, who offers more than 25 years' experience as an orthopaedic surgeon treating dancers and athletes. In addition to teaching and educating dancers how to prevent and minimize dance-related injuries, the center provides specialized treatment for those with injuries – current or perhaps incurred awhile ago. It conducts research in preventing and caring for movement-related harms, which not only affect those in classical and contemporary but also in areas such as "cheer" dancing. There are physical therapists, physiatrists, imaging specialists and expert physicians at the center at the ready to help dancers whose bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments or joints are always vulnerable as are their lower backs, feet, ankles and knees.