Dance Physiotherapy

Home / Services / Dance Physiotherapy

Dance injury assessment and rehabilitation

The dancing athlete requires specialised assessment and rehabilitation. The consultation includes biomechanical and dynamic assessments to diagnose the condition, and more importantly to reveal underlying drivers of the problem. Understanding what is driving a problem empowers the dancer to assist their recovery and prevent injury recurrence whether it be with technique correction or addressing training errors, poor muscle recruitment or imbalance or inadequate flexibility. Proactively screening for these issues may also prevent injury and avoid time out of training or competitions.

Pre-Pointe Assessment

We offer pre-pointe assessment to identify areas which may need to be improved or strengthened to assist safe progression on to pointe shoes. This assessment includes examination of joint and soft tissue range of movement, foot and ankle movement patterns, muscle strength and control of the trunk and lower limbs.

Real Time Ultrasound muscle training

We use real-time ultrasound to observe muscle contraction and thereby assist muscle training. The muscle can be visualised on the monitor while concurrently experiencing the ‘feel’ of the movement. Knowing where and when movement should occur is vital for optimal movement patterns and performance, and also for injury recovery and prevention. Read more here about the amazing things we can see and do with real time ultrasound.

Deep muscle control of joints is imperative for optimal range of movement and aesthetics in dance.

Dance specific strengthening

Deep muscle control of joints is imperative for optimal range of movement and aesthetics in dance. Weakness of deep stabilising muscles of the trunk and limbs can cause a range of problems including snapping hip, reduced turnout, and posterior ankle impingement. Identification of these specific issues and targeted exercises promotes optimal technique and recovery from injury. We have 2 large gyms with Pilates, balance and functional strengthening equipment.


Our bodies are filled with ‘connective tissue’, which does exactly as the name states; it connects us inside, from head to fingers and toes. Achieving optimal range requires free movement through the whole system of fascia, nerves, muscles and joints. So ensuring all parts are moving smoothly can help with flexibility in another part of the body.

Our Dance Physio
Pilates Instructor
MIADMS-Dance Medicine

Joanne Manning

Joanne graduated from the University of Queensland in 2014 with a Bachelor of Physiotherapy Honours Class l. A skilled dancer, choreographer and director, Joanne forged a highly successful career internationally and more specifically on Broadway before transitioning to a career in physiotherapy.

After completion of her physiotherapy degree, Joanne has worked in both private practice and hospital settings, gaining experience in outpatient musculoskeletal work, general hospital medical/surgical, and post-surgical rehabilitation.

With her extensive dance background Joanne has a special interest in dance rehabilitation and injury prevention for dancers and is a member of the International Association of Dance Medicine and Science.

Joanne is always looking to expand her knowledge and skills. She has trained in dry needling, pain sciences, dancer assessment and rehabilitation, kinesio-taping, vestibular dysfunction and APPI clinical Pilates.

Outside of work Joanne is an avid traveller, scuba diver and photographer, and enjoys spending time with family and friends while enjoying the Aussie lifestyle.


Rhianna Tunks

Rhianna graduated in 2018 from Curtin University in Perth with a Bachelor of Science in Physiotherapy.  During her studies, Rhianna had the opportunity to work closely with full-time ballet and contemporary dancers at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts and contributed to a paper investigating the beliefs about low back pain in pre-professional dancers.

After completing her studies, Rhianna moved over to Sydney and gained experience working in private practice settings and teaching Pilates classes. She attained additional training in dry needling, clinical Pilates and pre-pointe assessments. Her experience includes a wide exposure across musculoskeletal pain and injuries, including hip and lower limb conditions. Rhianna has completed Dr Alison Grimaldi’s in-depth training on hip, groin and buttock pain.

With her extensive background in dance, Rhianna has a special interest in dance injury rehabilitation and prevention. Rhianna has worked backstage treating members of the Dream Dance Company and made the move to Brisbane after completing a full-time dance course herself. Rhianna continues to enjoy her dance training across all styles including hip hop, heels, and jazz in her spare time.

Performing Arts
B Phty

David Peirce

David brings nearly 30 years experience with a focus on human performance across a broad range of sports, performing arts and everyday life. His early career in Mt Isa and Townsville focused on rugby union leading to a 5 year term as the senior Physio for London Wasps Rugby Club, tours with Qld Rugby and Penguins International to the UK, China, Croatia, Czech Republic and Hong Kong.

Inspired by his wife Lisa Wilson, David developed a passion for the performing arts and on return to Australia in 2000 built relationships, support and consultancy roles with the Qld Ballet, Opera Queensland, Qld Theatre, EDC (now ADC), Brisbane Festival and the Qld Symphony Orchestra to which he is currently consultant Physiotherapist. He did however maintain links with rugby and was part of the Qld Reds medical setup in 2010/11 when they won their maiden Super Rugby title.

David founded his own clinic, Pondera Physiotherapy & Pilates in 2006 and last year left after selling the business in 2016. His clinical focus remains on human performance tailored to the individual needs of dancers, musicians, actors, sports people or those just wanting to decrease pain and really enjoy life to the fullest. His collaborative approach mimics that of the arts sector where the director will engage whoever and whatever means are necessary to result in the best possible performance. He is not afraid to ask for help (and even for directions!) if it means the best care and outcome for the client.

David’s dedication to understanding injury and pain includes being hit by a car, dislocating both shoulders, rupturing his R ankle and knee ligaments and managing occasional lower back pain. He is a father to two daughters, husband to an extraordinary wife and a fairly unsuccessful but passionate fisherman.