ODC Month for Dancers' Health

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 2024.



Finding Center
Stephanie Greenspan, DPT
Thursday, January 11th, 6:00 - 7:30pm
Studio LP



Description: This movement-based workshop will focus on joint alignment and muscle activation for muscles of the pelvis, hip and shoulder.  You will use simple tools, such as balls and bands, to help activate the deeper muscles around these joints.  These exercises can be integrated into your warm-up and conditioning. This session will be targeted to the hypermobile dancer but anyone is welcome. 

Presenter Bio: Stephanie Greenspan is a Doctor of Physical Therapy with post-graduate residency/fellowship training and board specialties in orthopaedic and neurologic physical therapy. As an Adjunct Associate Professor at Samuel Merritt University, she researches circus injuries and motion analysis. She chairs the Surveillance of Injuries for Research on Circus (SIRC) working group that created a consensus statement for injury surveillance in circus and is co-editor of the Sciences section for the journal, Circus Arts, Life and Sciences. She also founded Artletic Science in 2021, with the mission to enhance the health and performance of artist athletes through research, education, and physical therapy.  


MELT Method Intro Workshop 
Molly Matutat 
Saturday, January 13th, 12:30 - 2pm
Feintech Studio



Workshop Description: This all-level workshop will use a specialized soft roller and small MELT hand and foot therapy balls to stimulate the results of manual therapy. Learn to eliminate stuck stress before it accumulates, causing chronic aches, pains, and unwanted signs of aging. Reduce inflammation, ease chronic neck and low back strain, improve alignment, enhance athletic performance, and keep your whole body feeling great at any age.

Presenter Bio: Molly Matutat is a certified Level 2 MELT Method Instructor and Pilates teacher based in San Francisco. She received training from The Pilates Center in Boulder, Colorado under the guidance of Master Teacher and Licensed Teacher Trainer, Erika Goff. Molly's Pilates practice goes back over 10 years in supplementary training and rehabilitation from dance-related injuries. After a string of hip surgeries, Pilates and MELT helped her rediscover the body's suppleness to change and ability to heal through movement. She hopes to share the benefits of this method and inspire others to continue to discover, breathe, and thrive in their own bodies. Outside of teaching, she is a freelance dancer, choreographer, and arts administrator.


How to Keep the Anxiety Out of Your Performance
Dr. Monica Horowitz
Wednesday, January 17th, 6-7pm
In-person and online
B.Way Theater




Presentation description: Sport Performance Anxiety is something that affects all athletes and artists. It shows up when an athlete feels stressed, not confident, and overwhelmed by the activity they have to perform. The anxiety is often both psychological and physical for the person. Their thoughts might include, fear of failing, fear of being judged, and low self-efficacy or self-esteem. In this interactive presentation you will learn the neuroscience of what causes sport performance anxiety, how it affects men vs. women, and some of the techniques to overcome it. 

Presenter bio: Dr. Monica Horowitz attended University of the Arts in Philadelphia PA, and graduated with a BFA. in Dance Education. Monica was a professional dancer and worked with companies such as; Walt Disney World Tours, Floyd May-Weather’s Filthy Rich Records, The Latin Grammys, Dancesport Ballroom competitions, and Cirque du Soleil. After receiving a back-injury that caused her to stop dancing, Monica decided to go back to college. Dr. Monica Horowitz graduated from John F. Kennedy University (JFKU) in Pleasant Hill CA, with her Master’s in Sport Psychology and her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology. Monica has done Mental Skills workshops for, the ODC dance company, Hope College MI dance department, UFC Gym Personal Trainers, Silver Creek high school track and field teams, Leadership public high school basketball and volleyball teams, Concord Youth Center (CYC) dance students, and Orin Allen Youth Rehabilitation Facility.

Optimizing Bone Health in Youth and Teens
Dr. Celina De Borja, M.D. 
January 18th, 6:00 - 7:00pm
B. Way Theater
In Person and Online
Lecture followed by Q&A



Presentation Description: Hey dancers and dance parents, let's talk about bone health! Come join us as Dr. Celina de Borja, Pediatric Sports Medicine Specialist at UCSF discusses "Optimizing Bone Health for Youth and Teens." We're diving into stuff you need to know about keeping those bones strong, especially for our younger dancers. Trust us, you won't want to miss it!

Presenter Bio: Dr. Celina De Borja is a Pediatric Sports Medicine Physician who works at UCSF Medical Center. She has special interest in dance and performing arts medicine, injury prevention and bone health. She has worked with the Boston ballet school, Boston conservatory, and Berklee college of music during her medical training. She is an active volunteer with UCSF RunSafe and PlaySafe, providing medical coverage at various sporting events in the Bay area. She also serves as the volunteer medical director of the ODC Healthy Dancers' Clinic, which aims to improve the well-being and health of the dance community through education, musculoskeletal screening and integration of health services.


Mental Health and the Dancer
Dr. Ira Glick, M.D.
Sunday, January 21st, 2024, 2-3pm
B. Way Theater
In-person and Online
Lecture followed by Q&A




Presentation Description: Dr. Ira Glick, M.D. is a Stanford psychiatrist who works with dancers and athletes. He will host an interactive lecture covering problems, symptoms, disorders and illnesses that usually begin early on as well as associated with their vocation. He will discuss evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment including psychotherapeutic interventions (individual, family and group) as well as medication. He will detail prognosis with and without treatment as well as results using scientific data as well as case reports.

Presenter Bio: Ira D. Glick, M.D., Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, previously Director of Inpatient Hospitalization Services and Chief of the Schizophrenia Clinic at Stanford University School of Medicine, has an extensive background in research, education and academic medicine. He is internationally recognized for his humanitarian efforts to correctly diagnose and treat the mentally ill, decrease stigma and educate the public/media about disorders and diseases of the brain. He has broad expertise in education, research and clinical care and as an ardent advocate for consumer organizations.  He has been on the Board of the American Family Therapy Academy as well as founder and long-time Board member of both the International society for Sport Psychiatry and the American Society of Clinical Psychopharmacology (ASCP).

As a leader in the field of Sport Psychiatry, he has written 1) an overview of the field, 2) on psychiatric treatment of elite athletes as well as 3) “psychiatric aspects of basketball.” He in 2016 was the lead editor of the first text on Sports Psychiatry.

Dr. Glick has received numerous awards and commendations for his long-time work and research in the field of mental health.

Proprioception, Balance and Coordination
Cathleen McCarthy
In-Person and Online
Tuesday, January 23rd, 12:00pm - 1:30pm 
Fisher Studio




Presentation Description: Learn about the importance of developing proprioception for improved balance and coordination.  Scan the body from the feet to the top of the head using guided imagery to foster more self awareness. Learn self massage techniques to decrease stress. Learn joint mobilization to improve range of motion. We will also discuss the importance of not wearing restrictive shoes that inhibit movement, shift body mechanics and lock joints.  This is class is geared for all ages and movement abilities

Presenter Bio: Cathleen McCarthy is faculty emeritus at San Francisco State University where she taught for 22 years. She has also taught at San José State University, Dominican University, the University of San Francisco and master classes throughout the U.S. In 2011, she received an Isadora Duncan Dance Award for “Sustained Achievement”. She is certified in Pilates, Gyrotonic and is a Z Health Master Trainer with her own private practice.

Pilates and the Dancer
Miquel Banket
Thursday, January 25th, 11:15am - 12:45pm
Skirball Studio
In-person and online



Description: Pilates is a helpful manual for the body to understand our imbalances & limitations. In this workshop, we'll go through some practices for injury prevention, how to use Pilates as a quick warm-up or cool down, alignment and understanding of the Powerhouse (our core center), and work on some of the lesser-known apparatus' created by Mr. Pilates. Participants should come ready to move. 

Presenter Bio: Miquel danced with The Lula Washington Dance Theater, Jazz Antigua, The Philadephia Dance Company (Philadanco), the Metropolitan Opera, the Los Angeles Opera, & Arizona Opera. He made his Broadway debut in the musical Amazing Grace and toured France, Belgium, & Russia with pop artist Mylene Farmer. 
Miquel received his Pilates Certification in New York through Romanas Pilates. He has worked with all-body types, injuries, and conditions, from young dancers at the School of American Ballet to clients in every age group. He brings his years of experience from the stage and knowledge gained from his injuries or those of past/current clients to his sessions. 


Intro To Dance Mindset
Kirsten Olshan
Saturday, January 27th, 12:30 - 1:30pm
In person
Feintech Studio




Presentation Description: Dancers sometimes do not view themselves as athletes, at least not in the traditional sense, that we view football, basketball, or hockey players.  However, the types of overuse injuries that these sports athletes experience are very similar to what dancers experience all the time. Understanding dancers as athletes begins in the dance studio where dancers train. Whether the ritual dance class begins at the ballet barre, or standing or sitting in the center of the studio, the dancer-athlete subjects their body to countless hours of classes repeating over and over the basic movements that are the foundation of every dancer's training. The repetition ultimately creates a strong artist and athlete who performs effortlessly on stage. Dancers suffer from a number of chronic and acute injuries that, if not addressed, can delay progress, lead to compensatory injuries, or even end careers. Learning tools to cultivate a beginner's mind of seeing learning as a beginner is an important practice in learning. It’s something you can practice every single moment of the day. 

What is a beginner’s mind? It’s dropping our expectations and preconceived ideas about something, and seeing things with an open mind, and fresh eyes, just like a beginner. A growth mindset for dancers to see the effort behind success, to understand that abilities aren't fixed or the result of something out of our control, to let go of the fear of failure, and to be willing to try and strive and fail and then try again. A growth mindset means that mistakes become just part of the journey.  I can’t, becomes, ‘I can’t…yet’

Presenter Bio: Kirsten’s background is in the performing arts as a professional actress, singer, and dancer touring nationally, and has worked in theatre for young people which benefits themselves, each other, and their community. Her M.S. is in exercise science and health promotion, focusing on sports psychology and nutrition. Kirsten's interests and studies are in the psychology of human performance and enhancing the health and well-being of performing artists, athletes, and high performers through health and wellness coaching, research, and health education. After facing physical challenges as a dancer and an athlete Kirsten learned how to adapt to a new way of life as a recreational and competitive athlete. Kirsten's resilience led her to research and focus on how participation in sports and physical activity impacted individuals' overall well-being, both physically and mentally. Kirsten has worked with professional athletes, clinicians, and high-profile performing artists. She is an international speaker with AAE and a National Board-Certified Health and Wellness coach. She has led workshops on health and wellbeing globally and is a cancer advocate with NBCC. Kirsten has received awards for service and for making theatre, music, and dance accessible to all.


Embodied Dancing Yin-prov
Karah Charette
Sunday, January 28th, 11:15am - 12:45pm
Studio B


Description: a movement class that uses that structure of yin yoga to allow for deep rest in the body and nervous system, while inviting in spaciousness and play through gentle intuitive movement. This class will use the guidance of the 7 chakras in 7 different yin poses to allow for a deeper embodied connection to the corresponding anatomy (i.e.; the root chakra invites in a deep somatic connection to the pelvic floor). Using cues for imagery and guided anatomy provided by Dr. Karah, the felt sense of each area has the potential to lead into gentle explorative movement. With consent, Dr. Karah may provide light touch for tactile input to the nervous system, or even gentle contact improv touch for those who seek it. This class is held in a container of safety and slowness, with music specifically designed for each chakra to create a resonance of individual exploration held by the collective experience. Come curious, leave embodied."

Presenter Bio: Dr. Karah Charette, PT, DPT, RYT (she/her/hers) is a doctor of physical therapy who specializes in pelvic health. She attended Hobart and William Smith Colleges, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Biology and Dance. She received her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Columbia University. A dancer for more than 20 years, Karah believes in the power of movement and its connection to expression and the human experience. Karah is also a 200 hour registered yoga teacher after doing a training in Thailand based in Ashtanga Vinyasa styled flow. She is certified in classical and contemporary Pilates mat and reformer techniques. Karah also frequently practices different somatic modalities including Body-Mind Centering and is Polyvagal informed in her teachings. Karah co-owns a pelvic health clinic in Oakland and brings her knowledge of clinical anatomy, nervous system informed care, and embodied movement practices to the classes she creates to provide an experience that is welcoming, safe, and healing for all bodies. 


Embodying Organic Support to Balance the Spine through Movement: A Body-Mind Centering® Approach with Sonja Riket
Sunday, January 28, 2024 from 1:15-3:15pm
ODC Dance Commons 
Argyle Studio



Sonja Riket, Body-Mind Centering® Teacher, will facilitate this workshop focusing on
the process of perception and kinesthetic awareness and how this can be a gateway
into the relationship between the body, movement, and consciousness.
Explorations will take us from perception of self and other to awakening the felt
consciousness of our tissues. When awareness of perception is embodied, it can reveal
to us who is living in this body. We will explore and integrate through movement and sound by oneself and in partnerships with others.

Sonja Riket is a Teacher in Body-Mind Centering®, Master Somatic Movement Therapist and Educator® and Registered Somatic Dance Educator®, Feldenkrais®
practitioner, Aquatic Therapist and lifelong dancer. After attending MUDRA, the multidisciplinary school of Maurice Bejart in Brussels, Belgium, she performed
worldwide with modern dance companies such as Lar Lubovtich, NYC; Jose Limon,
NYC; Peter Goss, Paris, France; Folkwang Tanz Studio, Essen, Germany; Extemporary
Dance Cie., London, UK . She taught extensively in Europe and the USA. Besides
studying and performing numerous dance forms, Sonja has studied Authentic
Movement, Alexander Technique, Jahara Aquatic Therapy, Aikido, Zen meditation and
Jungian Psychology. She teaches classes and workshops in Transformation Tango and
IntimateEmbraceTango as well as BMC® and Somatic Movement Meditation. In private
practice since 1995, Sonja works with BMC and Feldenkrais hands-on sessions for all
ages, from infants to the elderly. She is Faculty at the SF Community Music Center and
was a guest lecturer at the Institute for Holistic Health Studies at SF State University for
18 years. For more information, please visit: www.HeartofEmbodiment.com and www.IntimateEmbraceTango.com