Michelle Rodriguez, MPT, OCS, CMPT is the founder and director of Manhattan Physio Group. She has over 16 years of experience as a senior physical therapist working with elite dancers, athletes, performers, musicians, and actors. Michelle graduated with honors in psychology from Amherst College and received her Masters degree in physical therapy from Rutgers University & UMDNJ in 1999, where she was honored with the APTA Minority Scholarship for Academic Excellence Award. She became a certified manual physical therapist (CMPT) through the North American Institute of Orthopedic Manual Therapy in 2004, and attained board certification by the American Physical Therapy Association as an Orthopedic Certified Specialist (OCS) in 2009. She completed a comprehensive motor control curriculum, The Movement Solution, in 2013 with Kinetic Control Seminars. And as a certified GYROTONIC® instructor, she incorporates the movement principles of this system into her rehabilitation of patients.
Michelle’s unique background in orthopedics and biomechanics began with her career as a young professional ballerina and scholarship student at The School of America Ballet. As a physical therapist she has maintained a close relationship with dancers. She was a senior physical therapist at Westside Dance Physical Therapy, and has worked with many leading dance companies in New York City, including Dance Theatre of Harlem, Alvin Ailey School and Company I & II, Cedar Lake Dance Ensemble, New York City Ballet, Morphoses / The Wheeldon Company, and Benjamin Millepied’s Danses Concertantes. Most recently, Michelle is currently working with Paris Opera Ballet to help improve their current dancer health program. Michelle’s work with the dance world has led to her involvement, both on-screen and off-screen, with two movies; Jock Soto’s documentary “Water Flowing Together”, and Darren Aronofsky’s “Black Swan”. Michelle and her team are also working on Broadway's "On The Town" and opening in March "An American in Paris".
She has also lectured for the education department of New York City Ballet on injury prevention for young dancers, presented papers at the IADMS (International Association of Dance Medicine and Science) Annual Conference, developed curriculum and lectured for Westside Dance PT’s Dance Medicine Practicum, has published articles on dance rehabilitation in peer-review journals, and is currently on the development team of a new dance screening tool.
Michelle founded Manhattan Physio Group LLC in May 2008 to expand her range of service. At the heart of Manhattan Physio Group’s practice is Michelle’s integrative approach to physical therapy, drawing directly on her own background as a professional dancer and recreational athlete. Current patients come from all backgrounds, including professional dancers and athletes wanting to improve performance; entertainers; individuals looking to prevent injuries and train smarter; individuals recovering from a wide range of acute injuries and surgeries; and individuals addressing chronic ailments.