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ELITE EDUCATORS

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Dr. Julia Louisa Iafrate, DO, CAQSM, FAAPMR is a physician who specializes in Sports & Dance Medicine at NYU Langone Health in New York City. A Canadian citizen, she completed her undergraduate training at McMaster University, graduating with an honors bachelor of science degree in Kinesiology. She later moved to the United States of America to pursue a career in medicine. She received her medical degree from Midwestern University - Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine. She subsequently completed her residency in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the Mayo Clinic, followed by a Sports Medicine Fellowship at the University of Iowa. Her primary clinical interests include all types of musculoskeletal injuries, college and professional-level sports coverage, dance medicine, diagnostic and interventional ultrasound-guided procedures, global health and nutrition, and resident teaching. Dr. Iafrate has appeared on various media outlets discussing healthcare in the USA, is a peer reviewer for multiple performing arts journals, and frequently lectures on dance medicine and musculoskeletal ultrasound nationally and internationally. She works with multiple dance schools in New York City, was medical consultant for Jagged Little Pill during its' broadway run, and is one of the rotating team physicians for the US Ski Team. In her spare time she enjoys traveling the world, dancing, rock climbing, and alpine skiing.

Dr. Iafrate is an Assistant Professor of Orthopedic Surgery and Rehabilitation at NYU and sees patients in three locations in Manhattan. Dr. Iafrate is a New York Magazine SuperDoctors Rising Star in Sports Medicine (2019, 2020, 2021, & 2022).

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Dr. Julia Iafrate,
DO, CAQSM,
FAAPMR

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Vanessa Carson
Kya Rawlings
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Dr. Chelsea Pierotti,
Ph. D.

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Chelsea was trained as a studio dancer in the Denver area, and spent summers training with professional ballet companies, finishing her performance career as a professional ballet dancer in Colorado. Chelsea was also a successful high school dance coach for over a decade. She won multiple State Championship titles and was recognized as Colorado’s Dance Coach of the Year and twice as the National Dance Coaches Association’s Associate of the Year. Outside of coaching, Chelsea also has a Ph.D. in Sport Psychology and is a Teaching Assistant Professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

 

Chelsea currently runs a company providing online and in-person educational resources for dancers and dance educators including digital courses, memberships, and workshops to help you learn and thrive. She specializes in education for dance teachers and coaches in many areas of mental skills including confidence, resilience, motivation, mindset, and leadership. Visit her website and check out her podcast, a Passion for Dance at https://chelseapierotti.com.

 

Dr. Chelsea Pierotti is a sport psychologist and consultant for dancers and dance educators. As a speaker, workshop teacher, and podcast host, Dr. Chelsea helps industry leaders harness the unique tools of sport psychology to increase their positive impact. 

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Erin Wells
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Aaron Ngor is a Certified Athletic Trainer and Strength and Conditioning Specialist with years of clinical experience working with performing artists. He has worked with a variety of performers in companies and institutions, including Disneyland Resort, Ohio University College of Fine Arts, The Ohio University Marching 110 and the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. Aaron is passionate about sharing his expertise in sports medicine and functional anatomy to inspire the next generation of artist athletes.

 

He encourages his students to take a proactive role towards their health and learn high performance habits to maximize their potential for success. Aaron is professionally involved with the National Athletic Trainers' Association, National Strength and Conditioning Association, International Association of Dance Medicine and Science and the Performing Arts Medicine Association.

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Aaron Ngor, MS, ATC, CSCS

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Joan McGowan
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Galit Friedlander, CPT

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Galit Friedlander's passion for fitness comes from 17+ years of experience in the dance world, where she quickly discovered the need for injury prevention and dance-specific cross-training.   Galit believes that personal training/conditioning for dancers can be best used to optimize endurance and movement quality for class, auditions, and performances.

With an ACE-Certification, specialization in fitness nutrition, and qualifications in TRX straps training and functional training, Galit makes sure to consistently update her body of knowledge and education to best serve her clients.   Whether it is a single session to work on a specific focus, or a longer-term fitness plan, training sessions are tailored to your needs and made to be as fun as possible.

Some of the programs/studios where Galit has taught include Movement Lifestyle, TMilly, and Broadway Dance Center.

Skype sessions, shared sessions, and group training sessions are also available upon request.  Galit also has two on-demand workout programs that include workout videos to be completed at your convenience!

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Olivier Bisset
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Having danced for 25 years, Dr. Millis has experienced injuries that have pulled her from showcases, recitals and other important events. Wanting other dancers to avoid this fate, she trains dancers to improve execution of movements (through strengthening, conditioning and hands on techniques) in order to reduce their risk of injuries. By taking advantage of Dr. Millis' manual therapy techniques, your treatment time will be enhanced by advanced hands-on treatment which can reduce recovery time and help you return to dancing at a faster rate.

 

Whether you are injured or healthy, Dr. Millis hopes to increase access to care and provide customized one-on-one treatment to help you attain your goals; this can be with flexibility, strength, power, execution of turns/leaps and more. Utilize our concierge services, book an appointment time that works for you and your schedule.

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Dr. Katherine Millis, PT, DPT, CSOMT, FAAOMPT

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Katie Schaar

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Katie Schaar has nearly 2 decades of experience as a Los Angeles-based dancer, choreographer, & dance teacher. Credits include Dancing with the Stars, So You Think You Can Dance, the American Music Awards, MTV VMA’s, the BRIT Awards, the Grammy’s, films The Muppets and Rock of Ages, the 2015 Super Bowl Halftime Show, and world tours for P!NK, Katy Perry & Taylor Swift. She has a BA from Loyola Marymount University, where she studied Communications Studies and Dance. Katie co-created Sugarfoot Therapy, a physical therapy-based conditioning & injury prevention program for dancers; and she is the founder and Director of Operations at MOTI Physiotherapy in LA.

 

Dr. Traci Stevens earned her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from University St. Augustine for Health Science after completing her Bachelors of Science in Kinesiology from California State University San Marcos. She has also earned the distinction of board certified Orthopedic Certified Specialist (OCS). Traci has over 20 years of dance experience, many of which were in the competitive studio environment. She has presented dance medicine lectures for IADMS conference, CLI Studios, Dance Teacher Summit, and AMDA; and she has been interviewed for many publications such as Dance Magazine and Dance Plug. As the Clinic Director at MOTI Physiotherapy – Los Feliz, she enjoys working with many dancers and performing artists…from competitive youth dancers, to college dance majors, to established professionals with credits such as Alonzo King LINES Ballet, BODYTRAFFIC, Radio City Rockettes, So You Think You Can Dance, Dancing with the Stars, Lady Gaga, and many more.

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DFD Profile

Arya Meza
Tre Timms
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Dr. Karageanes is a primary care sports medicine physician and Medical Director of MercyElite Sports Medicine and Sports Performance at St Mary Mercy Hospital. He serves on the advisory boards of Youth Protection Advocates in Dance and the Bridge Dance Project, a representative on Athletes and the Arts, editorial board of the Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine and as special consultant to the board of the International Association of Dance Medicine and Science. He is also Past-President of the American Osteopathic Academy of Sports Medicine.  

He is one of the first physicians in the United States certified in performing arts medicine by the Performing Arts Medical Association. He works with Wayne State University Department of Theater and Dance, University of Michigan Dance Department, Madonna University, and ConteXture Dance Company. In addition, he has served as consultant, lead physician for numerous shows and productions, including Radio City Rockettes, So You Think You Can Dance, Pippin, Chicago, Bolshoi Ballet, and Brighton Dance Festival, as well as numerous dance studios across Michigan.

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Dr. Steven  Karageanes, DO

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Dr. Jeff Russell, PhD, AT,

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Dr. Jeff Russell is Associate Professor of Athletic Training and Director of Science and Health in Artistic Performance (SHAPe) at Ohio University where he leads a team of researchers—including a number of community-engaged co-investigators—who study artists in dance, music, theatre, circus, film and TV, and marching band. He earned his PhD in dance medicine and science from the University of Wolverhampton in the United Kingdom. As an athletic trainer since 1982, his career spans sports medicine, orthopedics, and performing arts medicine. He serves on the Board of the Bridge Dance Project and is a past member of the Boards of Directors of the International Association for Dance Medicine & Science and the Performing Arts Medicine Association.

 

His international research group focuses primarily on concussions in film and TV stunt performers, as well as on injuries and healthcare access of dancers in the commercial industry and dancers on university dance teams. Other work from his lab includes sound exposure in marching band, MR imaging of the ankle in ballet dancers, and the use of dance socks to reduce forces on dancers’ feet.

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DFD Profile

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Yasi Ansari is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) and Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics (CSSD). Yasi owns a consulting practice specializing in nutrition for athletic performance and nutrition therapy for eating disorders/disordered eating in Los Angeles, California.

She helps athletes and performing artists improve their relationship with food and body image. In addition, she works with adolescents diagnosed with eating disorders at a Medical Stabilization Program in Los Angeles, CA. As a former competitive dancer, Yasi understands the importance of meeting nutrition needs to support high-level dance training, long travel days for performances, competitions, and back-to-back daily training schedules while optimizing nutritional practices for production days.

Yasi collaborates with the Athletes and the Arts (AATA) initiative to help create educational content for dancers and co-hosts the Athletes and the Arts podcast with Dr. Steven Karageanes.

Yasi joined Doctors for Dancers in 2023 to support dancers in feeling energized, strong, and ready to perform with the help of nutrition! Yasi believes in the following food philosophy: nutrition that is sustainable, personalized, and easy to incorporate into any training and performance schedule!

Yasi graduated from UCLA and earned a master's degree from California State University, Northridge. Her previous roles include Assistant Director of Performance Nutrition at UC Berkeley Athletics and Clinical Nutrition Coordinator and Sports Dietitian for UCLA Athletics and Long Beach Athletics.

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Yasi Ansari,
MS, RDN, CSSD

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Jody Herman, MS, RDN, CEDRD

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Jody is a Registered Dietitian, Nutrition Educator, and Certified Eating Disorder Specialist (CEDRD). Jody provides one-on-one and group nutrition counseling for dancers, dance teachers, and studios through her practice JLH Nutrition Therapy. She also participates in public speaking engagements for the performing arts communities and mental health clinicians where she discusses topics including nutrition, body image, and mental health. Jody serves as the Clinical Manager at Bamboo Nutrition Therapy. Jody is a former modern dancer, and was drawn to the dietetics field so that she could gain insight on how to fuel for training, performance, and day to day life as a dancer and share that with performing arts communities.

 

She danced in Cleveland, OH and New York, NY and trained with the José Limón Dance Company and at Case Western Reserve University. She attended various summer intensives with the José Limón Dance Company, Paul Taylor Dance Company, and at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in London. She earned her Masters of Science from Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA and began public speaking engagements for dance communities. Jody began working as a Clinical Registered Dietitian in the mental health field in 2018 and received her credential as a Certified Eating Disorder Specialist (CEDRD) in 2021 from the International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals.

 

Merging her experience with mental health, nutrition, and dance, she has unique insight on supporting the dance community from a perspective of prioritizing both physical and psychological needs.

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Jennifer Milner is a certified Pilates trainer specializing in dancers and post-injury recoveries.  As a classical ballet dancer, Jennifer danced with several companies across the country, then moved to New York for musical theatre.  After a knee injury ended a successful performing career, Jennifer became determined to use her experiences to help other dancers and performers. She became certified in the Pilates method of exercise, graduating from the Kane School of Core Integration under the renowned Kelly Kane and immersed herself in the world of dance rehabilitation as the on-site Pilates trainer for Westside Dance Physical Therapy (the official physical therapists for New York City Ballet and SAB), quickly developing a reputation as a knowledgeable, thoughtful, and compassionate trainer.

Jennifer has trained a wide variety of clients, from young dancers and gymnasts to Olympic medalists, Oscar winners, and world-famous dancers from New York City Ballet, the Kirov Ballet, ABT, San Francisco Ballet, Royal Ballet, and more.  Jennifer mentored under the dance medicine pioneer Marika Molnar and earned a Certificate in Dance Rehabilitation Training through Ms. Molnar. Jennifer is certified in Mari-Jose Blom’s Smart Spine techniques, has studied with Erik Franklin,  and is well-versed in anatomy and physiology, a number of adjunct rehabilitation and training methods, and health and nutrition.

Since moving to Dallas, Jennifer has continued to work with pre- and professional dancers from all over the metroplex and often has clients fly in from all over the country for sessions. Jennifer's experiences and training give her a unique insight and perspective on getting and maintaining a strong, healthy body at peak performance level.  Jennifer is a member of the International Association of Dance Medicine and Science.

Designations:

  • PMA-certified Pilates Teacher; certified in Progressing Ballet Technique and Marie-Jose  Blom Smartspine.

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Jennifer Milner, Certified Pilates Trainer

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Dr. Linda Bluestein, M.D., The Hypermobility MD 

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Board-certified anesthesiologist, integrative pain medicine physician and former ballet dancer, Linda Bluestein, M.D., specializes in coaching and educating dancers and other athletes and individuals at increased risk of hypermobility disorders.  She founded and co-hosts the podcast, “Bendy Bodies with the Hypermobility MD”, and is a former co-host of the podcast “Hypermobility Happy Hour”.  Dr. Bluestein has been treating individuals with complex hypermobility disorders for years, educating and coaching dancers and studio owners, as well as conducting research on dancers with hypermobility disorders.  She is widely published, considered an expert on hypermobility disorders, and has lectured internationally. Drawing from all these rewarding experiences, she has formulated a unique, compassionate approach to assist a greater population of those suffering from these conditions: EduCoaching.

Dr. Bluestein contributed two chapters for the book, Disjointed – Navigating the Diagnosis and Management of Hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and Hypermobility Spectrum Disorders.  Countless people have improved their functional capacity and quality of life working with Dr. Bluestein at Hypermobility MD, her private medical practice, and Bendy Bodies, LLC, her EduCoaching program.

Dr. Bluestein completed her anesthesiology residency at the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine after receiving her Medical Degree from the University of California, Los Angeles School of Medicine and regularly presents her work at national and international meetings.

Dr. Bluestein is a member of the Allergy and Immunology Working Group for the International Consortium on EDS and HSD, the Board of Directors for the Bridge Dance Project, the Advisory Board for Doctors for Dancers, the Resources Committee for the Dance Healthy Alliance of Canada and serves as the Pain Management Committee Chair for the non-profit, EDS Research Foundation. 

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Personal Trainer and professional dancer based in Los Angeles, Brielle Migliaccio believes that dancers are equal parts artist and athlete and aims to provide the community with the tools to elevate their craft through cross-training. Her mission is to show others that they are capable of so much more than they thought by creating a system of health and wellness practices that challenge, elevate and support them and their lifestyle.

Through her experiences of extensive dance training, being a part of Florida State University’s collegiate dance team, as well as personal training people of all levels and limitations, she is able to help each individual define their movement goals and understand the training pathway to achieve them. She utilizes techniques in strength and conditioning, mobility, injury prevention and athletic development to guide dancers to find stronger, intentional connections with how their body works to optimize performance as well as build the foundations necessary for longevity and sustainability.

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DFD Profile

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Brielle Migliaccio, Certified Personal Trainer

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Erin Zintek, 
Certified Pilates Trainer

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Erin is a certified Pilates instructor, certified yoga instructor, and is the co-creator of The Ellové Technique®. She danced professionally in modern/contemporary work, as well as studied ballet, jazz, musical theater, tap, creative movement, improvisation, and loves teaching all styles and all ages! While living in Oregon, Erin taught at studios all over the Pacific Northwest including BodyVox, Nike World Headquarters and The Portland Ballet. Erin is originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where she started her training under Kellie Plathe from Accent On Dance. She graduated from the University of Iowa with a BA in dance. Pre-professionally and professionally Erin has danced with Charlotte Adams and Dancers, David Dorfman and Dancers, Poetic Rebound Co., and Bill Young, and Jim McGinn with Top Shake dance. During the summer of 2008, she traveled to Brazil to study capoeira and dance with the company Balé Folclórico under Simone Ferro.

 

She was also Head Coach at Multnomah Athletic Club for the pre-professional dance company and served on the executive board for Oregon Dance Education Organization. In August 2019, Erin moved back to Wisconsin to head up the Ellové Midwest Office. Erin is currently teaching Ellové workshops and masterclasses around the Madison, Milwaukee, and Fox Cities area and serves on the Wisconsin Dance Council board.

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