For as long as I can remember I have been dancing at annual recitals, competitions, various performances, and of course my family’s living room. It is my favorite form of self-expression and still my favorite way to move. Dancing has taken me on some of my favorite adventures and ultimately steered me towards my current career as a physical therapist, specializing in dance medicine and working with female athletes of all sports.
When I was in high school, I remember one particular dance rehearsal where I started to have knee pain. It turned out I developed patellofemoral pain syndrome and needed physical therapy. This sparked my interest in the field but it wasn’t until later I understood how impactful sports medicine physical therapy could be.
After making the Boston University’s dance team while in college, I fell in love with the dance team style of dance. If you didn’t know, most competitive collegiate dance teams perform three main styles: pom, hip-hop, and jazz. Dancers compete these styles separately or, my personal favorite, all together in a jammed-packed 2-minute routine. Dance teams are typically scored on performance, uniformity, staging, and quality of movement— requiring high levels of technique, athleticism, and teamwork. Most teams, including mine, also perform at other University events. These events typically include big stadium games, like football and men’s and women’s basketball. So, dance team seasons are busy all the way through with practices, performances, and competitions.
Early into my senior year of college, and the first year of my physical therapy coursework, I became the patient again. I was crushed when just a few months into my dance team season I experienced a traumatic shoulder dislocation while dancing. I did not know if I would ever dance at the same level as before. Luckily I was able to choose conservative care for my shoulder and began to see a sports medicine physical therapist. My physical therapist listened to my return to sport concerns and catered my treatment to the demands of my sport. I even remember how they brainstormed specific return to handstand drills so I could execute my hip hop tricks. With the help of my physical therapist, I was able to compete at the dance team national championships that Spring and win our University’s first dance team national title.
After my own experience, it further solidified my interest and passion to pursue a dance medicine and performing athlete focus in my physical therapy practice. I wanted to ensure the specific unique needs and goals of these athletes would be met during their care, just as I experienced. I’ve always wanted to help people through my career, but after my own sports injury, I saw firsthand how important it can be to help someone return to what is most important to them. Here at Girl Fit, I am passionate about treating dancers and performing athletes, as well as educating and empowering them to take care of themselves even before injuries happen!
Michaela Main, PT, DPT
Girl Fit Physical Therapy – Clinic Director
If you’d like to schedule a physical therapy or Wellness Visit with Michaela or one of our other sports physical therapists, email office@girlfitPT.com or call 617-618-9290 to schedule an appointment.
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