School of Dance

University of Arizona President Robert C. Robbins was on hand for the opening of the new Physical Therapy and Pilates studio at the School of Dance on Jan. 15.

The 750-square-foot space is focused on conditioning, injury prevention and physical rehabilitation for dance majors, who benefit from the collaboration between athletic trainers, physical therapists and doctors from Dance, Campus Health Services, Arizona Athletics and Banner/UMC.

Athletic Trainer Kristin Miller with President Robert C. Robbins. “Some of the best athletes at the university are in the dance program and … they’re always undefeated,” he said. Photos by Bianca Metz.

Athletic Trainer Kristin Miller with President Robert C. Robbins. “Some of the best athletes at the university are in the dance program and … they’re always undefeated,” he said. Photos by Bianca Metz.

“This is fantastic,” said President Robbins. “To have this type of integrated Pilates, physical therapy space to support our dance program keeps us on top of our game as one of the best dance programs in the entire country.

“Having this facility is so important … having physical therapists, orthopedic surgeons and Pilates instructors, people who will help prevent our dancers from getting injured, but if they do get an injury, then help them to restore and get back into performing sooner.

The School of Dance is home to nearly 150 dance majors, who will use the new space.

“That is simply amazing to me that we have that many students, who are also at the highest levels of performance, in dance. It’s just a joy and sense of pride for the university.”

The new space in the Ina E. Gittings Building enables:

  • A 30% increase in capacity for physical therapy sessions for dance majors
  • A dedicated space for open gym, where dance majors work on personalized exercise plans
  • A fully-equipped Pilates space for individual sessions
  • New curricular initiatives and opportunities such as internships, training, and certification for future physical therapists and Pilates instructors

The School of Dance is ranked second nationally for public universities by the OnStage Blog in its annual “Top 25 College Dance Programs” rankings. Beyond the challenging repertoire, number of performances and state-of-the-art theatre, OnStage noted the commitment to our dancers’ health.

“One of the big aspects of U of A’s program we like is their emphasis on dancer’s health. Since 2013, UA Dance students have had access to specialized onsite musculoskeletal care through a weekly Dance Medicine Clinic. The Clinic is run by Dr. Daniel Latt, a specialist in sports medicine and foot and ankle surgery. The goal of the Clinic is to provide the students of the School of Dance timely and accurate evaluations of their injuries, advice on effective treatments for simple injuries, and referrals for more complex problems. By improving access to specialized care, it is hoped that both the frequency and the duration of injuries will be reduced, thus improving the training of every UA Dance student.”
 OnStage Blog, ”Top 25 College Dance Programs

In addition to Dr. Latt, the dancers have access to Dr. Stephen Paul and Jenny Wyly, both from Campus Health and Arizona Athletics, Kristin Miller, athletic trainer for the School of Dance. Also, Kyria Sabin Waugaman has developed the practice known as Fletcher Pilates, specifically for the School of Dance.

Jory Hancock, Kristin Miller and Dean Andy Schulz cutting the ribbon at the new Dance PT/Pilates space.

Attendees included:

  • President Robert C. Robbins, University of Arizona
  • Andrew Schulz, Vice President for the Arts; Dean, College of Fine Arts
  • Jory Hancock, Director, School of Dance
  • Stephen Paul, Physician, Campus Health; Assistant Team Physician, Arizona Athletics
  • Jenny Wyly, Physical Therapist, Campus Health; Athletic Trainer/Physical Therapist, Arizona Athletics
  • Dan Latt, Orthopedic Surgeon, Banner/UMC; Assoc. Professor, Orthopaedic Surgery, Biomed. Engineering
  • Kristin Miller, Athletic Trainer for School of Dance and Campus Health
  • Kyria Sabin Waugaman, Studio Director/Owner, Body Works Pilates; developed Fletcher Pilates for Dance
  • Amy Ernst, Director of Graduate Studies, School of Dance; instructor for Injury Prevention and Kinesiology