Course description:

This course will cover current best evidence in the physical therapy management of the performing artist.   Lecture material will cover current best practice on evaluation and functional screening, summarize the most prevalent injuries/conditions, and discuss application of manual therapy and therapeutic exercise strategies for the dance population.  Lab sessions will emphasize manual therapy interventions, re-education of common movement patterns, and dance specific therapeutic exercise strategies.



8:00a - 9:00: Subjective exam and clinical reasoning specific to the dancer.

9:00 - 9:30: Biopsychosocial considerations and pain science

9:30 - 10:30: Lab: Postural assessment/functional dance screen

10:30-11:00: Biomechanics of porte de bras, common cervical spine/thoracic/UE dance injuries

11:00 - 12:00p:  Lab – cervical spine, thoracic spine palpation, mobilization

12:00p - 1:00:  Lunch

1:00 - 1:30:  Common partnering technique faults

1:30 - 2:30: Lab-Cervicothoracic junction, mid thoracic manipulation

2:30 - 3:30:  Shoulder examination/common dance injuries

3:30 - 5:00:  Lab- dance specific therapeutic exercise for the upper quarter, thoracic and cervical spine.  Neuromuscular re-education strategies for common movement patterns



8:00a - 8:30: Patient expectation and HEP compliance and occupational demands of dance

8:30 - 9:30: Evaluation of lumbar spine, pelvis and hip

9:30 - 10:00: Biomechanics of proper turn-out and implications for injury.

10:00 - 11:00: Lab – Manual therapy, mobilization, manipulation of lumbar spine and hip

11:00 - 12:00p: Lab-Dance specific therapeutic exercise for the lumbar spine and hip

12:00p - 1:00:  Lunch

1:00 - 1:30:  Evaluation of the ankle/foot and knee of the dancer.  Exploring en pointe.

1:30 - 2:00:  Common ankle/foot and knee dance injuries

2:00 - 3:00: Lab – Manual therapy, mobilization, manipulation of the foot/ankle and knee

3:00 - 4:00:   Dance specific therapeutic exercise for the ankle/foot and knee



Jessica Davis, PT, DPT, OCS has been practicing in outpatient orthopedics since graduating from Duquesne University in 1999. She became board certified in orthopedics in 2002 and received her doctorate in Physical Therapy from Chatham University in 2008. She is received her Fellowship in Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapy (FAAOMPT) through the American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists (AAOMPT) in July 2017. 

Jessica currently practices as a staff physical therapist in Seven Fields, PA. Prior to joining Tri-State Physical Therapy in Seven Fields, she was the clinical director of an outpatient private practice for 12 years. Jessica started her career in southern California.  Jessica’s passion is manual therapy for treatment of all orthopedic conditions, especially in the performing arts community. 

Jessica maintains various professional memberships, including the Pennsylvania Physical Therapy Association (PPTA), where she currently serves as an alternate delegate for the House of Delegates.  She has also served as the education committee liaison for the PPTA’s southwest District. Jessica has also pursued teaching for a variety of continuing education courses offered at Chatham University and with EZ Evidence. She served as the primary provider of physical therapy for the dance department at Slippery Rock University. As a former dancer, she purses excellence in treating performing artists, gymnasts and other athletes.