Backstage with Sandy Kenyon: Medical facility gets dancers on their feet

MURRAY HILL, Manhattan (WABC) -- Chyrstyn Fentroy's childhood dreams were realized at the Dance Theater of Harlem, but she knows one false move could end her career.

"It's a physical art form, so it's similar to a sport where people get injured all of the time," she said. "All you have to do is step the wrong way, and something bad can happen."

In her case, it was too much wear and tear over time.

"When I was dancing, I was having a lot of pain," she said. "So whenever I'd go up on my feet...and my big toe would bend up this way, I'd have pain back here."

So she turned to the Harkness Center for Dance Injuries in Murray Hill.

"They're trained in working with dancers," she said. "And I feel like every question that I have that is dance related, they can always give me the answer that I'm looking for."

Posters with signatures from grateful clients signal it is not your typical doctor's office. The facility is part of NYU Langone Medical Center and is the brainchild of surgeon and medical director Dr. Donald Rose.

"We see from the beginning student dancer all the way through to people who are dancing on Broadway in their 90s," he said.

Addison Ector, of Complexions Contemporary Ballet, suffered a fracture to his left leg. A couple of operations were followed by four months of rehab.

"They inserted the rod, the metal rod, down my tibia," he said. "She really kept me positive and kept me going, to really get me to the end result of getting me dancing again."
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