ODC Month for Dancers' Health, January 2023

ODC Month for Dancers’ Health

All events are FREE and presented by generous volunteers

The ODC Healthy Dancers' Clinic celebrates dancers' wellness through the Month for Dancers’ Health. Physicians, Nutritionists, Mental Health Specialists, Physical Therapists, and other health practitioners who specialize in dancers' health and are dedicated to educating and treating mobility for bodies of all kinds have joined together to offer an array of workshops, presentations, and individual sessions available throughout the month of January 2023.

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RSVP is required for attendance. 


The Complete Healthy Dancers' Clinic's services and Healthy Dancers' Month are offered at no cost and we rely on donations to support our ongoing programs. Click here to make a donation.


Schedule of Events

Hypermobility and Aesthetic Performance Artists - Monday, January 9th at 5:30 pm with Stephanie Greenspan at ODC Theater & Online

"Hypermobility is more prevalent in aesthetic performing artists such as dancers and circus artists. Often diagnosis and appropriate management of hypermobility related disorders is delayed because the multi-system effects of connective tissue disorders are not recognized as part of an underlying connective tissue disorder. A better understanding of these disorders can help hypermobile artists to optimize their health and perform to the best of their ability.

Participants will be able to differentiate causes of hypermobility, including Hypermobile Ehlers Danlos Syndrome and Hypermobility Spectrum Disorders, recognize signs and symptoms of these disorders that are often overlooked or misunderstood by performing artists, and apply strategies to support the health of and optimize performance in hypermobile aesthetic performing artists."

About the Presenter

Stephanie Greenspan is a Doctor of Physical Therapy with post-graduate residency/fellowship training and board specialties in orthopaedic and neurologic physical therapy. She teaches physical therapy as an Adjunct Associate Professor at Samuel Merritt University in Oakland, CA. In 2022, published a paper on the Management of hypermobility in aesthetic performing artists which include a new screening tool for the multi-system effects of connective tissue disorders like Ehlers Danlos Syndrome.
Stephanie founded her own company, Artletic Science in 2021, with the mission to enhance the health and performance of artist athletes through research, education, and physical therapy. As a clinician, she works with recreational to professional level circus artists and dancers with a focus on decreasing injury risk and optimizing performance. She also integrates her background as a dancer, aerialist, and coach into her clinical practice.
As part of her faculty role she studies is also conducting 3D motion capture and electromyography research of different aerial skills. She also studies injuries in the circus arts and is the chair of the Surveillance of Injuries for Research on Circus (SIRC) working group that created an international consensus statement for the standardization of injury surveillance in circus. She is the co-editor of the Sciences section for a new journal Circus Arts, Life and Sciences.

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Joint Mobility, Respiration, and Posture - Tuesday, January 10th at 6:00 pm with Cathleen McCarthy at ODC Theater 

Cathleen McCarthy will give a lecture and demonstration about the importance and benefits of joint mobility, respiration and exercises to improve compromised posture. Joint mobilization will improve flexibility by unlocking joints. We will start at the feet and work our way up through the entire body to the neck. Learn optimal respiration which expands the rib cage while staying out of the shoulders and neck. Many of us suffer from compromised posture from sitting too much and the use of computers/ phones. Learn simple exercises to mitigate habituated posture that wreak havoc on our neck and spine.

About the Presenter

Cathleen McCarthy is currently on faculty at San Jose State University teaching Dance Kinesiology. She is faculty emeritus at San Francisco State University where she taught dance technique, Dance Medicine, Organizational Strategies and was the director of University Dance Theater.

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Eating Through Injury and Rehabilitation - Wednesday, January 11th at 6:00 pm with Elena Zorn at ODC Theater

When recovering from a sports injury, the right diet can minimize recovery time, streamline the process and help you reach your goal sooner than anticipated. In this presentation, we’ll discuss: What to know about injuries, Most common sports injuries, How food helps recovery, Preventing future injuries, What foods and nutrients to choose, Other considerations.

About the Presenter

Elena Zorn, MS, MA,CNP, FMCHC
Certified Functional Medicine Nutritionist, PhD Candidate

Elena is active with the International Association of Dance Medicine and Science (IADMS) serving as a board member and has taught dance medicine at Munich school of Ballet since 2019. 

Elena is a certified nutritionist, educator, and researcher specializing in the functional medicine approach for inflammatory conditions, autoimmune issues, hormone balance, gut health, and aging gracefully. She works together with her clients to determine and address the root cause of their condition. 

Because each client presents with a unique set of conditions, symptoms, situation, and bio-individuality, she provides a personalized treatment plan that is developed in partnership with each client taking into account their lifestyle, preferences, and inner wisdom. Each individualized plan is designed for lasting results so my clients feel better, think clearly, and have more energy.

Elena believes that choice and a beautifully integrated mind body spirit "small steps" 

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Becoming a Trauma Conscious Dance Practitioner - Thursday, January 12th, 6:30 pm with Zackary Forcum at ODC Theater

Out of all the reasons people dance, one of the most popular motivations is that "dance is healing". While personal reasons may vary on why and how dance has constructively affected them, when examining the science of psychological trauma there is a correlation between top-down/bottom-up regulation methods and dance, as many of these approaches are innately embedded in certain movement and dance disciplines such as yoga and creative dance. We will discuss this science and how it has been shown to rebuild trust, reciprocity and processing ability to aid in the recovery from psychological trauma. This talk may help educators and dance artists looking to become more trauma-conscious in their practice with students, colleagues, and their greater community.

About the Presenter

Zackary Forcum (they/he) is queer dance-theater artist, writer and cultural strategist who has been an active participant and facilitator in the performing arts for over 20 years. SF Bay Area born and raised, they are the Artistic Director of OOMPH Dance Theater (fiscally sponsored by Dancers’ Group), who endeavors to create work at the crossroads of movement and narrative. Their artistic work has focused on trauma, queer theory, mythic architypes, and various scientific principles, with Forcum presenting choreographery in RAWdance’s Concept Series, the USA National Queer Arts Festival, the San Francisco International Arts Festival, SPF, The West Wave Dance Festival, as well as being a part of SAFEhouse’s Lead Artist Cohort from 2017-2019. They have performed and collaborated with Jacqueline Burgess, Kara Davis, James Graham Dance Theatre, Andrea Vonny Lee, Joe Landini, gabby fluke-mogul, Sonya Delwaide-Nichols, Sheldon Smith, Danny Scheie, Sommer Ulrickson, Wax Poet(s) Collective, Paul Whitworth, and mentored by Shinichi Iova-Koga and Molissa Fenley. Forcum was a 2021 Lead Artist for Diamond Wave's Artist Adaptibility Circle program, has held residencies with Shawl-Anderson Dance Center (2020) and SAFEhouse Arts (2017-2019), was nominated for on Isadora Duncan award for their performance of femme refusal (2020), and was awarded the E. L. Wiegand Foundation Dance Award for Innovation in Choreography (2016). Forcum holds their MFA in Choreography and Performance from Mills College and BA in Theatre Arts from UC Santa Cruz. They are currently ODC's Director of Institutional Giving, is a past Managing Director for Epiphany Dance Theater (which produces the annual SF Trolley Dances) and sat on the California Dance Education Association’s Greater Board from 2015-2018.


Foam Roll Friday - Friday, January 13th at 4:00 pm with Alyssa Herrera-Set at ODC Dance Commons Studio B. 

Delicious-feeling foam rolling exercises for connecting to your core and improving your mobility.

About the Presenter

Alyssa Herrera-Set is the owner of On the Move Physical Therapy, a lecturer at University of California, San Francisco, the co-founder of an online women’s health company called Papaya Health, and the co-founder of gymSAFE, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the health of gymnasts. She is passionate about detecting movement patterns that lead to injury. She enjoys building programs that help dancers and athletes develop good movement habits. Dr. Herrera-Set focused her undergraduate studies at UC Berkeley on education and ethnic studies. She received her master’s and doctorate degrees in physical therapy through UCSF/SFSU. She earned a Sports Physiotherapy diploma from the International Olympic Committee. Her movement philosophy is influenced by her lifelong participation in dance and gymnastics, her experience as a dance and gymnastics teacher, and her pilates education through Polestar Pilates.

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The Expressive Power of Movement - Saturday, January 14th at 12:00 pm with Jennifer Bury at ODC Theater

You shape your life, and how others respond to you, with every move you make. Learn how we each choreograph our lives in relationship with each other and how kinesthetic awareness provides us with the agency to choose how we move through the world. This one-hour event will include a brief presentation on somatic and developmental theory, then movement based experiments designed for attendees of all abilities, and time for questions along the way. Recognizing the powerful inner wisdom which emerges in the space around words helps us feel the available connections between us which are otherwise easy to miss. This session will help you rediscover the power you have to move, and be moved by, others.

About the Presenter

In her first life, Jennifer was a dancer and choreographer performing with her own dance company in NYC and throughout Europe. Since then, she has been a movement therapist in private practice for 35+ years, teaching worldwide. Jennifer is a certified trainer and supervisor in Developmental Somatic Psychotherapy™ and holds a BFA in dance from NYU Tisch School of the Arts. Jennifer teaches at universities, institutes and medical facilities, including as a faculty member at the Center for Somatic Studies and the Gestalt Institute of Cleveland. She has also studied pre-med, Gestalt therapy, neuroscience, Bartenieff Fundamentals, Bioenergetics, Feldenkrais, Alexander, Body Mind Centering, Authentic Movement, yoga, holds a black belt in aikido, numerous forms of dance, and is currently an exuberant member of ODC’s Rhythm and Motion community. Since 2015, she has also been working online—with individuals and groups—using techniques she developed for conveying the felt experience of contact while working online. For more information, see jenniferbury.com

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Keep Dancing on the "Right" Foot - Saturday, January 14th at 1:30 pm with Oriana Hua at ODC Theater

Learn about the anatomy and biomechanics of the ankle and foot and how to keep your feet healthy for a long career as a dancer.

About the Presenter

Oriana is a Bay Area native from San Jose, CA. Oriana’s dance background is rooted in cultural styles; it evolved in high school when she began learning jazz, joined the color guard, and started exploring other genres. Now, she primarily engages in contemporary dance and dances with Montage Contemporary Company in Santa Clara, CA. After receiving her Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology at San Jose State University, she earned her doctoral degree in physical therapy from Samuel Merritt University in Oakland, CA. She is a board-certified orthopaedic clinical specialist and fellow of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists. She currently practices in Fremont, CA at the Sutter Palo Alto Medical Foundation via Agile Physical Therapy. Oriana is passionate about dance medicine, specifically injury prevention, education, and rehabilitation.

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Embodied Pelvic Anatomy - Sunday, January 15th at 1:00 pm with Karah Charette at ODC Dance Commons Fisher Studio & Online

In this class, you will be invited to somatically explore the anatomy of the pelvis, including the muscles, bony structures, fascial connections, and inherent movement of the viscera. This will be a class with a heavy focus on felt experience, interoception, and improvisation. Come curious, leave embodied. This class is made to be available to all levels of movers, all gender identities, and can be made accessible for bodies with differing mobility, deaf, or blind folks if this can be made known to the teacher ahead of time.

About the Presenter

Karah Charette is a doctor of physical therapy who specializes in pelvic health. She is also a dancer, Pilates instructor, yoga teacher, and overall somatic mover. Karah feels passionately about making pelvic health accessible and inclusive for all gender and body identities.

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Avoiding Injury Through Proper Nutrition - Thursday, January 19th at 5:30 pm with Libby Parker (Online)

Registered Dietitian and eating disorder expert, Libby Parker, will be going over common nutrition deficiencies among dancers, how they impact the body, and how to combat this. Bring your questions!

About the Presenter

Libby Parker, MS, RD, CDN, CEDS is an international best-selling author, speaker, and Certified Eating Disorder Registered Dietitian. She and her team of Registered Dietitians at Not Your Average Nutritionist help people with weight-neutral sports nutrition and recovery from eating disorders. Her sub-niche is in helping stage performers optimize their health and nutrition like the athlete they are, through weight-neutral evidence-based science. This passion comes from her background in performing in musical theatre. Libby has been dancing since the age of 3, and added on acting and singing throughout the years. She has auditioned for Broadway, and continues to perform in regional film and theatre. She is currently working on a health book and college curriculum for performers. You can find her on Instagram @TheBroadwayDietitian

Main website: www.notyouraveragenutritionist.com

Blog: www.thebroadwaydietitian.com

Debut book: Permission To Eat: a practical guide to working yourself out of an eating disorder during college, while celebrating the awesomeness that is you!

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Exploring & Embracing the Mind of a Young Athlete - Friday, January 20th at 6:15 pm with Dr. Tiana Woolridge and Dr. Faustine Ramirez

How do you react when things don’t go as planned or when life is full of change? In this workshop, resident physicians in the UCSF Department of Pediatrics, Dr. Tiana Woolridge and Dr. Faustine Ramirez, will share their experience with mental illness during their time as NCAA Division I athletes. They will discuss their unique perspective as both physicians and former high-level athletes on mental health and eating disorders among young athletes. Participants will receive concrete tools, strategies, and resources that are tailored for young dance athletes to improve mental wellness, resiliency, coping, and thus performance and life.

About the Presenters


Dr. Tiana Woolridge is a resident physician in the University of California, San Francisco Department of Pediatrics. She is passionate about integrating mental health care into general pediatrics and increasing access to care for underserved communities. As a graduate student, she worked with a school district to design and implement an award-winning school-based mental health program called Embrace the Mind, with the goal of providing education about mental health, reducing stigma associated with mental illness, and equipping students, teachers, and families with tools to build mental wellness. She has continued to expand this work to schools in the Bay Area, and has also created numerous workshops on mental health for high school student-athletes. She is a Los Angeles native, former college athlete, and graduate of Princeton University, the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and the UCSF School of Medicine.

Dr. Faustine Ramirez is a pediatrics resident physician at the University of California, San Francisco and a rising primary care sports medicine fellow at Stanford University. She shares her passion for education and sports medicine by teaching at various levels in medical education and throughout the Bay Area youth athlete community. A San Francisco native, she has been actively involved in her community by leading education workshops with high school student-athletes on wellness, mental health, and injury prevention, developing resources on mental health for youth athletes, and volunteering to provide medical coverage for high school athletics events. She has a particular interest in athlete mental health, youth sports specialization, and overuse injuries. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology at the University of Washington where she competed on the NCAA Division 1 soccer team and earned her medical degree from the UCSF School of Medicine.

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Yoga for Healing And The Connection Between Trauma and the Body - Saturday, January 21st, 2:00 pm with Grace Shaver at ODC Dance Commons Skirball Studio

Trauma is stored in the body, and so one of many ways to approach healing from trauma is through movement (in conjunction with other traditional methods, like talk therapy). Throughout this trauma-informed yoga class, students will be encouraged to focus on sensations in relation to emotions. A primary focus of the class will be moving comfortably while contemplating the connection between mind and body. Time will be reserved for journaling and expressing oneself in various ways aside from yoga, too. Following the yoga class, Grace will hold a brief talk-back to discuss trauma and its connection to the body and the benefits of somatic practices like yoga in relation to dance, as well as answer questions from participants. 

About the Presenter

Grace Shaver has studied dance since age three, fostering a deep appreciation for her body and the movement it's capable of. Her fondness for movement developed into a love of yoga, and in December 2019, she completed a 200-hour yoga teacher training. In the fall of 2020 she became a trauma-informed yoga instructor and today her dance and movement work focuses on the connection between mind and body. Grace is a contemporary dance performing artist and holistic and whole-bodied ballet educator. She is intrigued by how the body can move in the most comfortable and natural way, and her current class offerings focus on connecting her research surrounding trauma and the body to real-life practices. Grace aims to offer a safe space for one to feel joy and appreciate their abilities. To learn more about Grace and what she's currently up to, visit www.graceshaver.com


Body Positivity/Understanding Yourself Better - Saturday, January 28th at 1:15 pm at ODC Dance Commons Feintech Studio & Online

This body has carried me through a hard life. It looks exactly the way it was supposed to.

During this difficult time in the world, there is added pressure to take care of ourselves.

Will will start how to create tiny habits that are important to you to keep you motivated. We will put into practice an exercise on self-care and how to cultivate self-compassion and how to become more aware of negative self-talk, becoming aware of negative thinking patterns and their impact on mood and behavior. We will work on an exercise together on our inner voice. You will walk away with a practical tool you can use at any time and share.

About the Presenter

Kirsten is a wellbeing change maker and coach. Her focus is on the psychology of human performance. Her passions are organizational, and Personal wellness. Kirsten's passion is to help find strengths, joy to help motivate individuals to make behavior changes more sustainable for better Life/Work integration. After battling two Chronic illnesses, Kirsten faced challenges of adapting to a new way of life as a recreational and competitive athlete. Kirsten resilience led her to research and focus on how participation in sports and physical activity impacted individuals overall wellbeing, both physically and mentally. She earned her Master’s in Exercise Science, Health Promotion with a focus in Sports Physiology and Nutrition from PennWest. Kirsten has worked with athletes, professional athletes, coaches, executives, business professionals, clinicians and high-profile performing artists. She has been a Keynote speaker at Stanford University and led mindfulness events as part of team Exos for Google. She has led workshops on health and wellbeing Globally. She is a health educator, research cancer advocate, certified health and wellness coach and nutritionist. She facilitates short courses for 2U/ Stanford Health Education on Stress Management and Employee Wellbeing and Healthcare leadership.

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Complete Clinic Appointments available in person.

The Complete Healthy Dancers' Clinic is a free clinic that focuses on dancers' holistic well-being. These private appointments are one hour long with a team of our volunteer practitioners. Areas of focus include: acute injury, chronic injury, mental health, and nutrition.

The Clinic's services are offered at no cost and we rely on donations to support our ongoing programs. Click here to make a donation

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About ODC Dance

ODC is dedicated to the lifecycle of the artistic process. Through our company, school and theater, we aim to inspire audiences, cultivate artists, engage community, and foster diversity and inclusion through dance.

The ODC campus is located at 351 Shotwell St, San Francisco, CA 94110.

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Pre-Recorded Videos 2020