PT MS RCST
Christine Bratton has maintained a private practice in performing arts physical therapy at the Mark Morris Dance Center in downtown Brooklyn since 2003. She treats a variety of dancers (from classical ballet to modern, Broadway, ballroom, mature teachers, and students of all ages and abilities) and classical and jazz musicians. From 2007 through 2011 she was PT for the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, working with the dancers in residence at Westbeth in NYC and traveling with them on tour. As a freelance PT she has also worked with American Ballet Theatre and many project-based post-modern contemporary dancers and choreographers. From 2004-14, Chris provided PT services for the 300 plus students of the ABT New York Summer Intensives. She currently provides PT services for Gallim Dance.
Chris completed her Master of Science in Physical Therapy at Columbia University in 1993 and spent two years working at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center. She then became a staff physical therapist at Westside Dance Physical Therapy (1995 – 2003), working weekly backstage at New York City Ballet as well for those eight years. In addition, she worked at The Juilliard School (1996 – 2008) with musicians, dancers, actors, singers, and stage interns. She was certified as a clinical orthopedic specialist (OCS) in PT 2008-18.
Teaching performing artists about functional anatomy, self-care, and injury prevention is one of her favorite aspects of her job. She has taught at Juilliard, ABT, the MMDG, Dance New Amsterdam, Paul Taylor Summer Program, Bard College, and the Ohio State University Dance Department. In the 25 years of her career working with high-level professional dancers, she has been happy to see the field expand and the resources available to dancers grow enormously. Chris was also a clinical lecturer in the Columbia University PT Program from 1993 – 2013 teaching orthopedics, therapeutic exercise and performing arts PT to physical therapy students.
In 2008 Chris started studying biodynamic craniosacral therapy with Franklyn Sills of the Karuna Institute in the UK, was a teaching assistant for Franklyn from 2012-16, and now also maintains a practice in biodynamic craniosacral therapy.
Chris believes that many of the chronic musculoskeletal problems that performing artists struggle with can be minimized or solved by improving movement strategies. She also strongly believes in education and self-reliance—that artists can learn principles of stabilization and neutral joint alignment early in their training and have a longer, happier, less painful career. Before entering the field of physical therapy, Chris did graduate work in 17th-century English literature, worked as a freelance indexer and editor in New York City, went to as many dance performances as she could, and was an enthusiastic amateur dancer.