Coming Soon: Doctors Who Actually Get Dancers

Ever gone to the doctor and feel like they just don't "get it"? Dancers don't exactly live regular lives, and they don't have regular needs. So regular physicians don't always have the know-how to answer your questions or advise you in a way that makes sense within a dancer's lifestyle.

There's good news: Next month, The Actor's Fund and Mount Sinai are opening a doctor's office specifically for performers. The Friedman Health Center for the Performing Arts will offer primary and specialty care right in The Actor's Fund's building in New York City's Times Square.

Watch Wendy Whelan and other performers explain the benefits here.

Because it's catering to performing artists, the center will have extended hours that accommodate dancers' abnormal schedules. It will also be flexible enough to handle the many health insurance changes that freelancers and Broadway performers often have to deal with. (This comes as especially welcome news since the current political climate has left so many dancers uncertain about what sort of coverage they'll have in the future.)

This is just the latest offering from The Actor's Fund. While visiting the building, you can also get personalized health insurance counseling to figure out your best options and how to enroll. You can go to a Dancers' Resource support group if you're struggling with an injury, get advice from Career Transition for Dancers, speak with a financial counselor, and take advantage of the many benefits The Actor's Fund offers dancers. Don't be fooled by its name—anyone in the performing arts qualifies.

 

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Courtesy Harkness Center for Dance Injuries

The Mecca for Dance Medicine: The Harkness Center Celebrates 30 Years of Treating Dancers

When orthopedic surgeon Dr. Donald Rose founded the Harkness Center for Dance Injuries at NYU Langone Orthopedic Hospital 30 years ago, the average salary for a dancer was about $8,000, he says.

"It was very hard for a dancer to get quality medical care," he remembers. What's more, he adds, "at the time, dance medicine was based on primarily anecdotal information rather than being based on studies." Seeing the incredible gaps, Rose set out to create a medical facility that was designed specifically to treat dancers and would provide care on a sliding scale.

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