Article reposted from WCPO Cincinnati
Author: C.M. Tomlin
Unlike the Cincinnati Bengals, the Cincinnati Ballet does not publicly release an injury report each week.
But that doesn’t mean that on any given afternoon you won’t find Jacqui Haas, Mercy Health’s supervisor of performing arts medicine, working to get the city’s finest dancers back on their feet without missing a performance.
In a basement facility of the ballet’s headquarters on Central Avenue, Haas — herself a former dancer — functions like any athletic trainer. Performers go through the same physical therapy exercises as a football or baseball player might, and that’s precisely the idea.
“We designed the program just like an athletic training room for a college or pro football or basketball program,” said Haas, as nearby a trainer helped a dancer stretch on a table. “We see shoulder dislocations, tibial fractures, ACL tears, rotator cuff damage. If something happens during a show, you can’t call a timeout — you have to keep going. Every performance, every day is like the Final Four.”
Mercy Health and the Cincinnati Ballet partner to provide the institution’s dancers guidance, strength training and therapy when a jump or lift goes bad, which is something every dancer experiences at some point in his or her career.