How Do Dancers Recover From Injury? Meet The New York City Ballet Physios

Years ago, ballet dancers wouldn’t talk about their injuries, suffering in silence through fear of not being cast.

Thankfully, times have changed and most major companies now have physiotherapists on site.

In the above video we meet the team of experts dedicated to helping dancers manage pain, recover and avoid injury at New York City Ballet.

Marika Molnar, director of physical therapy at the company, advises her team to think of dancers as “artistic athletes”.

After all, a ballet dancer has to be able to turn, jump, leap and land safely.

The men have to be able to lift their partner above their head while the women must be able to dance en pointe - fitness and strength for both are key.

At New York City Ballet, dancers are asked to visit Molnar and her team if they’re feeling something strange like a twinge or a weakness or if they can’t do a move they used to be able to.

“It shouldn’t be seen as a weakness or a sign that you’re not working hard enough," Molnar says.

"Injury has become part of almost every dance company’s curriculum for the dancers and students.”

The physiotherapists and masseuses are quick to identify and treat a problem, meaning it has minimal impact on the dancer's career in the majority of cases.

“The greatest joy in what I do is getting to see the dancer back on stage," Molnar says.

"They perform better and happier than they were before because they always learn something when they have an injury."

Tiler Peck, Principal Dancer

New York City Ballet Dancer Style