Dancing for a living, professional ballerina Tara Gragg can’t afford to be injured or in pain. Now her audience, at the Island Moving Company in Newport, can learn Tara’s 5 tips for keeping healthy for the stage.

  1. Cross training improves performance and decreases injury risk. Thanks to the guidance of her physical therapist Dr. Kayleigh Melroy, who herself is a ballet dancer, Tara can be found at the Newport Athletic Club incorporating aquatic therapy into her cross training. “Especially in the offseason, it’s important that I keep my body moving and the right muscles in shape.”   
  2. Be strong! “You need to strengthen muscles that you don’t necessarily use as much when dancing because these are the muscles that will support you and help prevent injury,” Tara says.  
  3. Listen to your body. Having been a dancer since age four, and through her college days at Oklahoma University, Tara understands how important it is to be ‘in-tune’ with one’s own body. The exertion and consistent stress on the body of a professional dancer, just like any athlete, being in-tune to your own strength, flexibility and mobility is essential.
  4. Sleep is vital. It’s when the body heals and recovers from training and performance. Tara understands this well since dealing with the challenges of lost sleep due to a shoulder injury. Dr. Kayleigh Melroy was able to incorporate dry needling into more traditional physical therapy to help Tara regain her full night of sleep.
  5. Find time to relax the body and the mind. With such a physically intense career and inconsistent schedule, Tara eases her body and mind in the kitchen, being an avid cook as well.  She shares her delicious meals continuously in the community by supporting the Aquidneck Community Table foundation.  (http://aquidneckcommunitytable.org/)

Join the audience this winter, at the Island Moving Company in Newport (http://islandmovingco.org/) and see Tara Gragg perform in her favorite show, the Nutcracker.

About Performance Physical Therapy
Performance Physical Therapy is a state-of-the-art, physical therapist-owned practice offering a variety of innovative services that help patients of all ages achieve optimal physical function-fitness, wellness and rehabilitation. With eleven convenient locations, the largest number of board-certified physical therapists in New England and Rhode Island’s only HydroWorx Therapeutic pool, Performance is a leader in the healthcare community throughout Rhode Island and SE Massachusetts.  Please visit Performance at www.performanceptri.com or call 401.726.7100.

Dr. Kayleigh Melroy, DPT, OCS, is the clinic director and a physical therapist at our Middletown clinic, located inside Newport Athletic Club. She has clinical expertise in performing arts/dance rehab, spinal rehabilitation, orthopedic, neurological and post surgical rehabilitation, hip pathology, and functional dry needling. If you would like to reach our to Dr. Melroy you can email her at kmelroy@performanceptri.com or call her at 401.726.7100.