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Dynamic Chiropractic – February 9, 1998, Vol. 16, Issue 04

Dallas Metro Company Dancers Benefit from Chiropractic

By Editorial Staff
The word ballet evokes images of thin, beautiful, and rather fragile looking nubile women standing on their toes, doing pirouettes, plies, and moving with a grace and elegance that make our own daily movements appear cloddish and reminiscent of our cousins, the australopithecines.

If you've never seen a professional ballet company perform, you'd also be impressed with the more ostentatious athleticism of the the male dancers performing spectacular sauts (jumps), entrechats (mid-air splits), and an array of knee-cracking, thigh-busting, movements that demand strength, flexibility, agility and coordination.

The dancers make it all look quite effortless, as do all elite athletes who have spent years honing their skills. But the reality is that the dancers have to attain and maintain an intense level of conditioning. Take Michael Scott-Thorne, 26, a dancer returning to the Dallas Metropolitan Ballet (DMB) after a two year hiatus. He knew the strength and stamina lost in the interim would only come back with hard work, but in doing so he not unsurprisingly fell victim to a host of injuries.

At the request of the dance director, Michael sought the help of Kristi Larsen, DC, of Dallas, Texas. Within six months, Michael was awarded his first-ever lead for a dance company.

Seeing Michael's quick comeback from injuries under Dr. Larsen's care, ballerina Allison Watson also sought her care. Allison, a willowy brunette from Garland, Texas who describes her interests as reading the classics and horror novels, and weaving "hurriedly in and out of traffic while listening to really loud music," was injured in a car accident that forced her to leave the Pennsylvania Ballet and move back home with her parents. She began to consider the real possibility of no longer pursuing her dream of being a professional ballet dancer. After four chiropractic treatments with Dr. Larsen, Allison was feeling physically better. With regular treatments and conditioning suggestions, Allison was soon in the pink, and earned a lead role in the DMB's "The Night before Christmas," the same production in which Michael had the lead.

"Dr. Larsen has been my savior," Allison enthused. She said that while she has "suffered innumerable injuries due to the extreme stress ballet puts on my body," that chiropractic and nutritional therapies "are essential in keeping me in top form."

Randy Graham, 36, who has performed with the Joffrey Ballet, the New York Metropolitan Opera Ballet, and the Boston Ballet, among others, also seeks out Dr. Larsen's care when he comes to Dallas as a guest artist with the DMB. "If it weren't for her (treatments)," Randy testifies, "I wouldn't be dancing."

Dr. Larsen notes she doesn't treat her athletes any differently than her non-pirouetting patients. She admits to appreciating observing an athlete or dancer "whose skills are enhanced because their inherent capabilities are functioning without compromise." She adds, "It's nice to know that their love of dance will not lead to premature demise."

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