Dance Physiotherapy

Our Physiotherapists at Agility are experienced in treating dance injuries and dance related conditions, with the aim to provide specialist guidance and physiotherapy management to help dancers perform at their best. Owner, Jenny Birckel, worked with the Queensland Dance School of Excellence from 1990- 2016  and the Australian Dance Performance Institute in Albion for over 15 years. Her shared knowledge and expertise across the team of physiotherapists allows for in-depth dance assessments and treatment plans not only for injured dancers but also for dancers seeking to improve their performance. 

Our experience gives us extra insight into dance injuries, their immediate treatment and the recovery pathway from injury back to full dance performance.

Dance Injury Treatment
While some dance injuries result from a single event like a poor jump landing many come about from mild technique and training errors that are repeated many times over.  Overloading intensity near exams and performances is a common factor in injury. We assess, treat, strengthen and evaluate the cause to get you back on your toes as soon as possible.

 Dance Assessments
A detailed assessment at any age will identify strength and flexibility issues that could be contributing to poor performance or injury. After the assessment, we design a home programme so you can strengthen specific weaknesses and elevate your performance. We can also design you a specific strengthening programme in our Clinical Pilates exercise studio on our Reformers, Trap tables and Wunda chairs where our instructors will help you focus on achieving your dance strength goals. If you are too busy to attend our studio we can develop a home programme of exercise.

 Pre-pointe Assessments
Going en Pointé is a big step in a young dancer’s career. We assess young dancers proceeding to pointé to determine not only if their feet are strong enough for pointe but also if their bodies are strong and stable so the feet aren’t overloaded by weakness further up the chain, especially in the core and pelvis. A home programme will be prescribed so you can achieve the strength you need for the transition to pointe. We can provide a report both for you and your teacher so they assist with specific strengthening goals.

Dance Conditioning
Pilates has been the strengthening exercise of choice for dancers wanting to perform at their best for many years. The founder of Pilates was Joseph Pilates and he worked with the New York ballet dancers and famous choreographers of his time so dance technique was incorporated into his exercises. We have taken the principles of Pilates and merged it with the latest in sports physiotherapy and dance physiotherapy to bring you a client specific exercise system which we now call Clinical Pilates. We can design you an individualised programme for performance enhancement or to rehabilitate you fully from injury.

Our Dance Physiotherapy Team

Jenny Birckel – (APA Titled Sports and Exercise Physiotherapist)
Started working with QDSE in 1990 and has performed pre-entry assessments and treatments for over 30 years. She also had a clinic in the Australian Dance Performance Institute where assessments and treating dancers was a regular event. Jenny began her journey into Pilates in 1995 as she sought an exercise solution for the pre-professional dancers at QDSE who were experiencing with weaknesses and injuries.

Jenny is the director of the Pilates Institute of Queensland and runs Pilates training courses for physiotherapists, exercise physiologists, dance teachers and Fitness professionals.

Maria Yee
Specializes in dance & sports injuries and musculoskeletal conditions and is currently undertaking a PhD in dance injuries.

Maria trained in numerous dance styles herself, including classical ballet and Chinese dance. She presented her honours thesis on musculoskeletal profiles of pre-professional ballet dancers at the International Association for Dance Medicine & Science annual meeting in Switzerland in 2014, and at the World Congress of Physical Therapy the following year. 

Maria has since worked with established professional contemporary and ballet companies including Les Misérables (Australia), Singapore Dance Theatre, and T.H.E dance company, conducting functional assessments and dance-specific screening on top of injury management. She works closely with a number of Brisbane’s dance schools, and regularly conducts pre-pointe assessments and dance screening for dance students. She also runs dance-specific Pilates studio sessions at Agility to help dancers get the best from their bodies. 

Andrea Maude
Is an APA Sports Physiotherapist and part of our dance injury team.

Andrea has had many years of experience with a wide variety of sports; her expertise with diagnosis and treatment can assist dancer accelerate their recovery.

Eliza Leslie
is an experienced physiotherapist and has worked with dancers for many years. She worked at the Albion practice in the Australian Dance Performance Institute before we relocated to Ascot. 

Jo Kaighin
has many years of experience treating and assessing sports and dance injuries. While she is a generalist musculoskeletal physiotherapist, she has seen many dancers in our clinic and is spot on with finding a diagnosis treatment and working them hard to rehabilitate and return to dance. 

Network team of doctors
Another part of our dance injury management team is working with sports physicians and orthopedic surgeons who have a special interest in helping dancers with injuries. 

If your injury is complex, we will refer you to these specialists and liaise with them about your injury management.


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