Dancers, like athletes, have their aches, pains and injuries. One area physical therapy clinic now offers services that concentrate specifically on those who pursue the art form.
Performance Rehab of Kansas City opened its fourth location earlier this year with a focus on providing services to dancers. Majority owner Mark Buckingham started Performance Rehab in 2006 offering outpatient orthopedic care.
Two women with extensive dance and physical therapy backgrounds run the newest clinic, located on West 75th Street in Overland Park.
Q: What do you offer at your location?
“Our location has a physical therapy base but we specialize in performing arts medicine, particularly in dance,” said Jill Marlow Krutzkamp, the clinic’s Pilates and wellness director. “Currently in Kansas City there are a lot of dancers as far as studios, including professionals, (but) there has not really been one place that has specialized in or had credentialed staff to treat dancers for preventative and post surgery.”
Krutzkamp offers Pilates classes focusing on alignment and strength for dancers as well as wellness classes. She works closely with clinic director Kendra Gage.
“The techniques to treat dancers are a little different,” Gage said. “Dancers uses such a unique language for movement so that when the practitioner knows that language, it makes it much more efficient…. It is important to train them with the right techniques.”
The 3,000-square-foot space is divided in half to offer a traditional physical therapy clinic, with the other part dance-focused with a special floor, equipment, mirrors and dance bar.
Q: How did this special focus come about?
“When I moved here, I did research on who had the best locally owned outpatient PT,” said Gage, who joined the company in 2014. “Mark values the unique needs of patients. … When he saw my specialty in dance, he saw an opportunity to help the dancers who had not had this help before and the need for the niche practice.”
Q: What are your professional backgrounds to operate a dancer-focused clinic?
Gage has a degree in dance as well as a doctorate in physical therapy with an orthopedic certification.
She has worked as a physical therapist with major dance companies including the Joffrey Ballet and the Hubbard Street Dance Company in Chicago. She also served as an adjunct faculty member with Roosevelt University as a dance anatomy professor. Gage has drawn on all of those experiences with Performance Rehab.
“It’s given me a lot of ideas and experience,” Gage said.
Krutzkamp is a former ballet dancer having studied with the American Ballet Theatre and Boston Ballet. She danced professionally for 14 years with several companies before retiring from the Kansas City Ballet. Krutzkamp also has a degree in health education.
“I was part of a company that had a well-established program, so as a dancer I was used to that kind of treatment and physical therapy needs. … and my next dream was to create a program and alliance here to give dancers access,” Krutzkamp said.
Q: How do you get your clients?
“The beginning was the hardest,” Krutzkamp said. “We contacted a lot of the dance school owners. A lot of it has been word of mouth from clients.”
The women said half of the clinic’s client base has come through a provision in Kansas in which you can see a physical therapist without a prescription.
“We have the tools to appropriately screen them for any other medical needs and we will refer them out to a physician that will give them the appropriate treatment,” Gage said. “It has allowed us to create an alliance of medical practitioners.”
This fall the clinic will begin a formal relationship with the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Dance as its preferred provider of physical therapy services.
Q: What responsibilities do you have in running this location?
“Kendra and I are responsible for the marketing of the clinic and the day-to-day operations of the clinic,” Krutzkamp said.
Gage also handles physical therapy duties.
Soon another physical therapist will join the staff. They have already added a front office person to help out while Krutzkamp is on maternity leave this summer.
Q: What are your future plans?
“We are hoping to expand our services … growing business with more Pilates and wellness classes such as conditioning that is dance-specific and Pilates mat classes that are not just for dancers,” Gage said.
In a nutshell
COMPANY: Performance Rehab of Kansas City
ADDRESS: The dance therapy location is at 8825 W. 75th St., Overland Park
WEB SITE: www.performancerehabkc.com