Marissa Schaeffer, Co-Host

I always wanted to be a dancer! At a young age, my parents let me come to New York to spend my vacation time dancing at the various dance intensives the city had to offer. I eventually went on to pursue dance at SUNY Purchase College Conservatory of Dance and graduated with a BFA in dance performance. Post graduation, I danced briefly in the city before deciding to change careers.

I earned my doctorate with honors in physical therapy from Columbia University and am a CSCS certified strength and conditioning specialist. Since 2011,  I have worked with clients in Manhattan and have conducted cross-training and injury prevention workshops for dancers along the East Coast.  I have taught and trained dancers from numerous universities and dance companies including SUNY Purchase, Columbia University, Barnard College, the American Ballet Theater Summer Intensive, Mark Morris, Doug Varone, Lydia Johnson Dance, New York City Ballet, Alvin Ailey and Broadway. I have also helped hundreds of young dancers at various competitive dance studios on the East Coast with my workshop for young dancers, Mindful Practice (2012- 2015). In 2015, Mindful Practice appeared in Dance Studio Life Magazine’s feature article: Teaching Students How to be Healthy in Mind and Body. I have also presented to dance professionals at the annual conferences of the International Association for Dance Medicine and Science and the National Dance Education Organization.

I have written and contributed to articles that have appeared on Dance Teacher,,, The Epoch Times, and Dance Informa Magazine, maintain my own blog on dancer health and wellness at, and am the Outreach Committee Chair for the American Physical Therapy Association's Performing Arts Special Interest Group.

Currently, I work as a physical therapist and conditioning coach in NYC at Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and privately as part of Gotham City Acupuncture.