About the Task Force


The mission of the Dance/USA Task Force on Dancer Health is to maintain the health, safety and well being of professional dancers.

What we are: We are a group of health care professionals who are volunteers with a narrow focus on professional dancers/companies in North America. This Task Force was formed at the request of the Council of Managers for Dance/USA and provides annual reports to Dance/USA. Members of the Task Force on Dancer Health are health care professionals who provide medical services to professional dancers.

What we are not: We are not a dance medicine association, an educational meeting, a board of directors or a research group.

Goals of the Task Force

  • To provide experienced and expert health information and support to professional dance companies regardless of size or budget
  • To decrease time loss to injury with early problem recognition and education
  • To encourage the Annual Post-Hire Health Screen as an industry standard
  • To analyze injury patterns and links
  • To support health and wellness of the individual professional dancer

Officers and Committees

Executive Committee
Co-chair: Mandy Blackmon, PT, DPT  
Co-chair, Kathleen Davenport, MD
Secretary: Selina Shah, MD
Screening Chair: Catherine Hagan Vargo, PT, DPT  

Dance/USA Board Liaison:  Nancy Kadel, MD 

Research & IRB Committee 
Chair: Heather Southwick, PT

Injury Surveillance & Data Program/Storage Committees
Chair: Gary Galbraith, MFA

Pick-up Companies/Freelance Dancers Committee
Chair: Lauren Elson, MD

Informational Papers Committee
Chair:  Catherine Hagan Vargo, PT, DPT


History of the Task Force