Columbus Park Founder to Address Juilliard Dance Students

Melissa Gerson, LCSW, founder and Clinical Director of Columbus Park, Manhattan’s comprehensive outpatient treatment center for adults, adolescents and children with eating disorders, has been invited to speak to Julliard dance students as part of a panel on healthy nutrition and lifestyle.

Titled “FAD, FACT OR FICTION: The Truth and Fallacies about Diet and Lifestyle,” the panel is designed to help provide dancers with information regarding what is needed nutritionally to help create a lifestyle that supports and strengthens the choice to be a dancer.

A former dancer herself, Gerson brings a unique dual perspective to the discussion.

“I have such tremendous respect for dancers and the art of dance,” said Gerson. “Dancers are faced with particularly rigorous physical challenges and demands – which can often open the door to disordered or unhealthy eating issues. It’s a privilege to be able to share important information and tools that can not only keep dancers safe and healthy, but ultimately enhance their performance in the long run. We appreciate that Julliard Dance is making the time to provide the knowledge and advice of myself and my insightful fellow panelists to its students and faculty.”

Gerson will be joined in the discussion by co-panelists Carol Holyoke, a physical therapist at Juilliard and Dr. Elizabeth Manejias a Physiatrist. The discussion panel will be moderated by Heidi Skolnik, who is head of the nutrition arm at the Juilliard School.

“Juilliard is proud to host this lively panel of several professionals with expertise in the medical, psychological, nutritional and physical health of dancers,” commented the event organizers.

Among topics to be discussed will be: the ramifications of crash dieting, binge eating, body image, the differences for men and women dancers, and overall wellness and lifestyle issues.

The dance students will also be given the opportunity to submit anonymous questions on note cards to be answered by the panelists.