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Dynamic Chiropractic – January 30, 1995, Vol. 13, Issue 03

A Graceful but Demanding World

By Editorial Staff
Robert Yakovac, DC, of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, who specializes in sports injuries, has a "Wall of Fame" in his office, picturing, among others, athletes he's had the pleasure to treat: players from the Pittsburgh Pirates baseball team; Pittsburgh Steelers footballers past and present, Jack Ham, Rocky Bliar, Barry Foster; and their graceful but considerable less bulky counterparts -- ballet dancers.

Dr. Yakovac's entree into the genteel but very athletically demanding world of pirouettes, plies, and sauts, began five years ago when he treated the administrator of the Pittsburgh Ballet School. She inquired if Dr. Yakovac treated dancers, and suggesting he speak with David Holliday, director of the ballet school. She arranged a meeting.

During the meeting with David, Dr. Yakovac learned about the Pittsburgh Ballet School's intensive summer program for an international group of aspiring dancers, and of the 19-year-old ballet student with a foot injury. She was receiving medical treatment, but the injury was not improving. The doctors were telling her she might have to give up ballet, a heartbreaking prognosis for a young girl on the verge of completing the rigorous ballet school program that would launch her into a professional dancing career.

Dr. Yakovac began treating the ballet dancer and in less than two weeks she was back dancing. While the young dancer wasn't successful in her audition with the Pittsburgh Ballet Theater, she did win a spot with the San Antonio Ballet and is dancing to this day.

David Holliday soon became a patient, as did Patricia Wilde, director of the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre. Dr. Yakovac began seeing to the chiropractic needs of the ballet school students, and set up a wellness program. Patricia Wilde was impressed with the health and lack of injury of the ballet students who were receiving chiropractic, and as a result, Dr. Yakovac was given the go-ahead to treat the troop's professional dancers at the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre. Now each year you'll find him back stage at the Nutcracker, helping keep the dancer's on their toes.

Dr. Yakovac has also gotten involved with stage productions. The night before the opening of Phantom of the Opera in Pittsburgh, a limousine pulled up in front of his office, and out stepped two of the major cast members, both with acute cases of torticollis. After treating them, he was given carte blanche by the company's manager to treat cast members backstage; when the show moved to New York, he was asked to go to Broadway. Phantom is headed for Toronto and Dr. Yakovac will be there too.

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