Designed to educate and motivate, Spear’s #LetsKeepMoving Blog is our official stream of fitness tips, exercise advice, and healthy lifestyle inspiration. Our articles and features are written and produced in direct partnership with our physical and occupational therapists! Disclaimer
The lights of Times Square are no longer dimmed— Broadway is back! After a year-and-a-half long shutdown that saw the closing of New York City’s famed Theatre District, the Spear team celebrated the return of Broadway, arts, and culture to the city, serendipitously coinciding with the grand opening launch of our Times Square – Center for Performing Arts clinic, with a grand night of emotional stories, celebratory hugs, epic performances, exciting productions, and of course, much love.
Situated right in the heart of Broadway, our Times Square clinic was born from a desire to provide a special space specifically for dancers and performers, an innovative idea brought forth by the location’s Clinical Director, Ninia Agustin, PT, DPT, during her very beginnings at Spear.
Growing up performing and competing as a dancer, Ninia has held a long-time love for the art of movement, evolving into a passion for helping performing artists rehabilitate and treat their bodies. Ninia was clear on her vision: bridging the world of dance with the science of physical therapy, her two passions, to create a space that catered to the physical needs of performers. Today, that dream is alive and well.
Spear’s Times Square clinic is a location created with the performer in mind. Our clinic works hand-in-hand with other like-minded organizations such as Mt. Sinai’s Samuel J. Friedman Health Center, a medical care provider that is focused on the particular healthcare needs of the entertainment and performing arts community, and The Actors Fund, a national human services organization created to meet the needs of our entertainment community. Together, we’ve formed an amazing support group for artists.
When the pandemic closed the city, Broadway, and our Times Square clinic down in March of 2020, just weeks after our opening, it was an unexpected and difficult time for everyone. This clinic was thoughtfully planned to serve as the premier location for performing artists and creatives to receive the therapy treatment they need. The vision suddenly seemed shaky, and the team struggled to find their footing.
Last month, with Broadway re-opening, we were given an opportunity to celebrate our team and their dedication to the artists who were finally getting back on stage. To commemorate such a momentous return, we created a truly magical night to honor the return of the culture, love, excitement, and emotion that art awakens for us all. We gathered together to celebrate in style with live performances, most notably from Scott Sussman, Spear patient, former Broadway actor, and Speech-Language Pathologist specializing in Singing Voice Rehabilitation. He wowed us by performing “Something’s Coming” from West Side Story and “Help is On the Way” by David Friedman, a beautiful track about maintaining faith through hard times, much like what we experienced right here in the city.
The return of Broadway marks a massive win for the performing arts community as a whole.
Over the last few weeks, our incredible Spear team members, with the addition of some special guests, joined together in creating our mini-documentary above. Serving much emotion and heart, it is our love letter to the city, an homage to the arts, culture, and performing arts of the city we adore so much.
The evening was a celebration, as well as a moment to reflect on the journey we’ve walked together. CEO and Co-founder Dan Rootenberg shared his deep appreciation for the dedication the team has. “Everybody is passionate about the arts, and that’s what it’s about,” Dan shared. “If you love what you’re doing and are passionate about what you’re doing, you know it’s sure to work.”
Ninia also acknowledged the trials, tribulations, and triumphs the team faced together. Thanking her teammates by name, she graciously recognized the efforts of every single Spear member, from the Front Desk Care Coordinators to the Therapy Technicians and Physical Therapists, for turning a vision into reality. “Five years ago, I said I wanted to build a niche practice working with dancers,” Ninia shared. “This is my background, this is my passion, and I would love to do it—and here we are.” Today, the clinic sees all kinds of performers, from Broadway actors, to dancers, to musicians. The Times Square team, who are all performers, artists, musicians, and dancers themselves, are a group of truly passionate members dedicated to what they do. The closeness to the craft really allows them to connect more with our performing patients, creating a truly special bond.
With large red scissors in hand, Ninia stood with the rest of the team, standing tall in support, as they cut the ribbon to mark the “grand opening” of the clinic. The joy and elation in the room was electric. As Dan said: “the lights are back on Broadway, and it’s very special.” We cannot wait to continue living our vision, and keep New Yorkers moving.
At Spear, we are always looking for ways to share our knowledge and expertise—that’s why we created our career workshop, From Classroom to Clinician: The Final Lesson!
Our Classroom to Clinician workshop is an amazing opportunity for physical therapy and occupational therapy students to learn about how to transition into their full-fledged careers. Last Saturday’s event was the first we held in-person since the pandemic. Hosted at our gorgeous, newly built Grand Central clinic, the workshop was a perfect opportunity for students to meet with our talented team members for mentorship and networking opportunities. A virtual live-streaming option was also available for those who weren’t nearby or able to attend in-person, ensuring all students were able to participate no matter the circumstance!
The workshop featured various helpful components to assist participants in this transitional period of their careers. One helpful component of the event was our resume building workshop, where each student received a one-on-one resume coaching session with one of our hiring managers. Gaining insight from clinicians already in the field provided an unparalleled opportunity for attendees to learn the best practices for landing that first job after graduation.
Our leaders also held an interview session, providing best tips on how to nail the interview portions of job searching. Working directly with the leadership team, and opening the floor for questions and inquiries, provided the participants with real-life advice and information easily applicable in their near-future application processes.
Thank you to all of our participants for attending! We’re elated to have the opportunity to provide students with the resources, connections, and information they need to be fully prepared for their shift from student to clinical career.
Missed the event? Keep a lookout—our spring session date will be public soon! You can sign up to be notified when the event goes live by visiting our Eventbrite page, and by following us on Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn!
“It is our belief that we are not put on this earth to simply be who we are. We are here to evolve, develop, self-actualize.” – Dan Rootenberg
I wrote these words when we unveiled our new logo in 2016. That logo served us well these last five years, as we were named the nation’s top physical therapy practice, not just once, but twice. Those accolades are special, and the fact that the industry recognized the unique strength of our team will always be a point of pride. However, I feel something even more important taking hold in my consciousness now. Since that time, the world has changed, the city has changed, and I found myself changing as well in how I think and lead.
As we lived through the pandemic together, I felt a deep and acute sense of empathy for the uncertainty and anxiety that many of our team members were feeling. For the first time, we became a safety net for our team, both by keeping our clinics open throughout that challenging time and by being there for one another and our community in a time of need.
My fuel for leadership changed from “hustle” to “love.” While in my heart, I will always be that kid from Brooklyn who leads with drive and grit, I believe this new evolution focusing on synergy and what brings us together as human beings should now be reflected in our company image.
This summer in Tokyo, I witnessed another phenomenon of humanity. With COVID depriving fans from witnessing, in person, the most elite athletes on the globe competing, the winning of world records and gold medals played out in the absence of the typical fanfare. People depended on their teams and even on their competitors—neighbors in the Olympic village from other countries—to celebrate the medals that were brought home. I stood in awe, with tears in my eyes, the first time I saw this happen as Team Ireland sang and chanted, forming a procession, as the team’s first medal-winner walked through the gauntlet to get home to their building which we shared. To me, this was humanity at its best, and the synergy of people supporting each other, rising above challenging conditions. Spear’s new logo hopes to embody this new feeling of Synergy, Community, and Love.
To learn more about the new logo and what it stands for, please read on.
-Dan Rootenberg, Spear CEO & Co-founder
The Details Behind The Logo:
From the Spear Marketing and Communications Team
Above: A collage of photos that inspired our new look.
With a focus on the synergy that keeps us moving and helps support our communities, we realized it was time for an update.
Above: A timeline of Spear’s logo evolution.
The new synergy mark combines with a bolder wordmark that no longer includes the words “PHYSICAL THERAPY.” This is because we are more than just a physical therapy company; we are an active part of our community, we are your fellow neighbors and friends, and we are here to build relationships that motivate and inspire those around us.
Above: The final 2021 Spear logo with its Synergy mark.
The deep, dark purple in the wordmark is called Aubergine, and it represents transformation and power. The burnt orange color in the mark is called Carmine, and it represents heart, love, compassion, and (shared) determination.
We look forward to this logo becoming a new, iconic symbol of belonging and unity in our communities.
Summer is heating up: the world has got its eyes on the 2020 Olympic games starting this month. Our very own CEO and Co-founder, Dan Rootenberg, jetted off to Japan to continue his work with the Israel national baseball team as their official physical therapist!
Team Israel is up against some of the biggest players in the world, with a need to be physically ready to perform at optimal levels for the international sporting event. Holding a true passion for baseball, Dan is excited to be able to help rehab and guide the all-star players. “It’s just about putting these professional athletes in the best position to be successful,” he says of the importance of his role.
Dan has been involved with the team since 2012, during the World Baseball Classic qualifiers. He also offered his attention and rehabilitation skills at the 2017 World Baseball Classic in Seoul, South Korea, helping the players by providing strength and conditioning and physical therapy guidance. “I played in the Israel baseball league, a pro league in Israel in 2007. My first son, Jack, was just born. I went out there and the relationships that I established there, that’s where a lot of this really came from. It started there during that league,” Dan recalls of his time. “The manager of the team, Eric Holtz, was a good friend of mine. Nate Fish [Third Base Coach] was another guy—we all played together. Shlomo [Lipetz], who’s a pitcher here, was a teammate of mine; Peter Kurz, who’s the general manager— his son was a teammate of mine. There’s a lot of personal connections here, and it’s amazing to see how much the sport of baseball has grown.”
SPEAR has been involved in the treatment of Team Israel players in the past as well. “We’ve treated a number of players in our SPEAR facilities; different physical therapists on the team have worked with a lot of these guys,” Dan recalls. “It’s nice to have that continuity because then they come here, I can talk to the therapist that treated them and then have a continuous program for them…it’s helpful to be able to take whatever they’ve been doing in the clinics, pair it with what they have to do on the field and then help them here…really it’s just about putting these professional athletes in the best position to be successful.”
Team Israel is up against some big contenders this summer: the United States, the Dominican Republic, Japan, Mexico, and South Korea. Currently ranked 24th in the world and 7th in Europe, the team is the competition’s endearing underdogs. The full roster consists of 12 pitchers, 3 catchers, 6 infielders, and 3 outfielders. The world’s got their eye on second baseman Ian Kinsler, former MLB all-star, who played for 14 seasons for the Texas Rangers, Detroit Tigers, Los Angeles Angels, Boston Red Sox, and San Diego Padres. The Summer Olympics are bound to be a hot one! Team Israel’s first match kicks off next Thursday, July 29th, against South Korea.
“Nobody expected us to be in the Olympics,” Dan says. “The fact that we’re there is pretty incredible in and of itself, and we’ve got a lot of a lot of high hopes about coming back with a medal.”
We are so proud and honored to have Dan there representing the field of physical therapy and its vital importance in the competition and the overall health and safety of the athletes.
Here’s a teaser of some awesome content we got on the pipeline, sure to be a home run:
All smiles: SPEAR teammates are full of joy and SPEAR-IT!
SPEAR is known for top-notch physical and occupational therapy treatment, but we’re also known for another value we’re very proud of: our culture. Lovingly referred to as our “SPEAR-IT,” this whimsical embodiment of our combined passion, energy, dedication, and unity is at the forefront of everything we do. That’s why we celebrate our people every summer at our ‘Picnic in the Park’ event. This year we had some fun, endearingly naming our company retreat “SPEARFEST,” and appropriately so, for it was a day filled with palpable comradery and love amongst all of our teammates!
An annual event, last Friday’s companywide event differed from our picnics of the past. It was not just a fun day in the sun, nor just a day to host some friendly competitions. SPEARFEST this year marked our first collective gathering companywide—with the necessary cancellation of the event the year prior, and not having been together for over 19 months, this event was an opportunity to be together once again. 350 of our teammates gathered to celebrate just that: our collective synergy and the chance to be united again, despite the challenges we’ve all faced this past difficult year.
Together again, we celebrated our synergy, collective teamwork, and the opportunity to be a little closer to a state of normal. The event was created with our people in mind: a day to relax, kick back, and enjoy each other’s company.
Leading up to the event, we held our well-known ‘SPEAR-IT Week’ across our social platforms. Consisting of different themed days, ‘SPEAR-IT Week’ is an opportunity for all of our clinics to build excitement for the big event. With 21 clinics sprinkled across our boroughs and into Westchester, it’s not often we can have all our teammates together under one roof. With the cancellation of our All Hands Meeting (our companywide meeting created to celebrate our clinics’ successes and discussion for continued growth), it was even more essential to build connection and engagement between our clinics and regions.
Human Pyramid by LIC – CityView
Penn Plaza on Twinning Thursday
Of course, we had to up the ante, too, by stirring in some friendly competition: each clinic had the chance to submit photos and videos with our Theme Day challenges to earn points towards the coveted SPEAR-IT Week Champion title! Clinics within each region uplifted one another and helped garner votes from family and friends via social media comments and likes in hopes of having their region crowned winner, to be announced at SPEARFEST! ‘SPEAR-IT Week’ was rockin’, with our teammates creating incredibly synchronized choreographies, building human pyramids, filming insane music videos, and dressing in coordination. The fun could not be contained! (Pssst…if you missed our team’s amazing submissions, check them out on our Instagram and Facebook pages!)
SPEAR-IT Week continued with a city-wide Scavenger Hunt (if you were in Manhattan, you might have encountered one of our own asking you some silly questions or capturing funny moments!), ending right at the start of our SPEARFEST event. Held at The Armory Foundation’s indoor track & field center, the gigantic space was jam-packed with leisurely activities for everyone to enjoy. This event was created to be a fun and enjoyable day, to build comradery amongst our teammates, to celebrate our wins, and to relish in the sheer joy of being together again.
SPEAR Teammates having some Cornhole fun!
Duck and Hide in full effect!
There’s nothing like a professional ‘Simon Says’ Champion to get the crowd excited!
It was also an opportunity to celebrate all the hard work our team has put in throughout the year. All together under one roof, we took the opportunity to hand out some well-deserved awards and prizes. We revealed our leaderboards numbers, which are numerical stats on how our clinicians performed this year, on a huge Jumbotron screen. With award categories ranging from Review Rockstar, to Patient Commitment, and our highly respected SPEAR Impact Award, we wanted to acknowledge our people’s hard work and reward them for their dedication and tenacity, especially through one of the toughest times the city has ever been through. It is important to acknowledge those who go above and beyond for others, for they are true leaders! CEO and Co-founder Dan Rootenberg also presented the Armory Foundation with a $20,000 donation to be used towards the non-profit organization’s mission to serve NYC youth by promoting fitness and education through a broad range of athletic, educational, and community programs.
SPEAR CEO and Co-founder, Dan Rootenberg, presents donation to The Armory Foundation
The rest of the day was just fun and games—literally! With gigantic versions of Jenga and Pac Man, an inflatable wrecking ball, a life-sized Twister board, and even a professional ‘Simon Says’ champion present to administer the game, the stadium was roaring with laughter and good vibes. And that’s what it’s truly all about—providing a fun, synergistic experience for all of our teammates who so deserved a breath of relief from a long year.
Thank you to the entire team for bringing their all to the profession every day, for continuing to put patients first, and for always helping to support one another. Together, we can do it all.
Our Freedom Region, the crowning champions of SPEAR-IT Week, share the coveted trophy prize!