Sarah Tiffin

Study Coordinator

Sarah has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Bennington College. This study is very important to her because of her experience in the circus arts as a performer as well as an injured performer. Originally from Oakland, CA she started her circus life at Kinetic Arts Center as a member of their Circus Spire Youth Troupe and later joined the Circus Smirkus Big Top Tour, then Cirque Us. Her duties as the Study Coordinator involve scheduling participants with the Physical Therapists as well as managing data inputs.


Carol Bailey, PT

Research Physical Therapist (New England Center for Circus Arts)

Carol Bailey earned her B.S. in Physical Therapy from the University of Vermont in 1987. She practices at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital in Brattleboro, VT. She has a special interest and training in sports medicine, aquatic therapy, women's health, orthopedics and manual therapy. She has enjoyed working collaboratively with circus artists. Her physical therapy treatment plan is always individualized to her client’s functional and performance goals.

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Melissa Buffer Trenouth, MSPT

Melissa graduated from Northeastern University in 2006 with a Master’s in Physical Therapy. While getting her master’s, she studied in New York at Performing Arts Physical Therapy learning the ropes of performing arts medicine and backstage PT. Upon returning to Boston, Melissa began working for a local outpatient clinic, Sports and PT Associates. In 2008, she opened a clinic in Cambridge, MA under their umbrella and has been managing it since (now under the name of ATI Physical Therapy). Melissa has also been performing backstage physical therapy for touring Broadway shows, American Repertoire Theater, and a number of other Boston area dance and theater companies for the past 13 years.

Melissa continues to practice and manage her clinic full time. She is passionate about restoring optimal anatomical alignment using manual techniques and neuro re-education with specific exercises to support. She works with clients of all ages and abilities and is active in the dance and circus communities in the Boston/Cambridge/Somerville area. She continues to stay involved with her former dance company, Rainbow Tribe, is a member of the Boston Dance Alliance and the International Association of Dance Medicine and Science. Melissa has also provided written expertise for a number of publications including Dance Magazine, Dance Teacher Magazine, and Today in PT. Melissa’s husband, Jason Trenouth MSPT, is also a physical therapist in the area and together have 2 wonderful little girls, Annabelle and Rose.


Marisa Hentis PT, DPT, OCS, CSCS

Research Physical Therapist (Kinetic Theory)

Dr. Marisa Hentis is a faculty member and physical therapist at University of Southern California in Los Angeles, CA for the Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy and the Kaufman School of Dance. She is board-certified by the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialities as an Orthopedic Clinical Specialist (OCS) and a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS). She treats and teaches dancers on the importance of strengthening, flexibility and balance while developing the USC dance medicine program. She also sees patients clinically at USC Physical Therapy. She is currently a Nominating Committee Member for the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) Performing Arts Special Interest Group (PASIG). She also works as a physical therapist backstage for performances at various theaters in Los Angeles, CA.

Marisa received her Bachelor’s of Science in Exercise Science, a minor in Psychology, and concentration in Inter-professional education in 2012 at Saint Louis University in Saint Louis, Missouri. She received Doctorate of Physical Therapy in 2014 at Saint Louis University as well. She graduated from the Clinical Residency in Orthopaedic PT through MGH IHP in 2015 and became a Board Certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist in 2016.

She specializes in the treatment of variety of orthopedic diagnoses including performing artists, dancers, runners, other sports related injuries, and pelvic floor dysfunctions. Prior to becoming a physical therapist, Marisa danced professionally in the Midwest for over 5 years. She is trained in majority of genres but specializes in Hip Hop and Contemporary. She enjoys continuing to take classes recreational and getting involved with the community to prevent and assist performing artists throughout their recreational and professional careers.


Greg Kowal PT, DPT

Research Physical Therapist (Circadium School of Contemporary Circus Arts)

Dr. Kowal went to school for physical therapy at Arcadia University and has been practicing for seven years in Philadelphia as well as Minnesota and Massachusetts. He has always approached things with a curious nature. Not really being satisfied with just how things are; he needs to know why. This is why he is so happy to be a part of this research team. He is grateful for this opportunity to explore intriguing questions, and learn information that will help you express the love you have for circus arts. Greg wants to help people get the most out of every day and be prepared to move at a moments notice. He practices those values at Good Shepherd Penn Partners in South Philadelphia and with private clients around Philadelphia.



Research Physical Therapist (The Circus Project)

Dr. Zhang is a physical therapist currently working at ProActive Sports Physical Therapy in Vancouver, WA. She's a Pittsburgh, PA native, graduating from Chatham University with a Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree. She continued on to feed her curiosity about the human body by completing a Fellowship in Manual Therapy and obtaining her Orthopedic Sports Certification through the American Physical Therapy Association. She loves treating clients with a variety of injuries, with her focus on delving into the WHY: WHY do people get injured and what are some ways they can prevent further injury in the future?

Pan started dabbling in the circus arts about 5 years ago, with her main focus on Aerial Fabric. She fell in love with how the art pushes you physically, mentally, and emotionally, and how circus combines the knowledge of movement and mechanics of the human body with artistic expression. As a member of the circus community herself, she is excited to be able to contribute to the growing field of circus arts through this study by improving our knowledge of how and why injuries occur to better treat and prevent injuries to our unique population.