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.
SPEAR had several amazing accomplishments in 2020 we are proud of. One, in particular, was the expansion of our 70 Pine clinic!
One of two clinics in the Financial District, 70 Pine officially opened on July 3rd, 2017. Our previous space, though renovated and spacious, was located in the basement of the building, making it sometimes difficult to find. We wanted to provide a space that was much more easily accessible for our patients. That’s why we moved—right upstairs!
Our expanded 70 Pine clinic is now located on the first floor, with curbside access right on Pearl St! Located in a historic landmark building, once the tallest structure in downtown Manhattan, it welcomes patients through a beautiful lobby with high ceilings and marble floors. Exposed brick and a modern setting bring a historic ambiance into the present day.
With the onset of such a remarkable expansion, we of course had to celebrate with our traditional ribbon cutting ceremony! The entire 70 Pine team and some of our leaders gathered together to talk about the growth and expansion of the clinic. Clinical Director Joshua Rieders, PT, DPT, CSCS, addressed the team to thank them for all of their hard work and dedication before, throughout, and after the expansion process. CEO and Co-Founder Dan Rootenberg also addressed the group to talk about the exciting new changes. He also asked several team members to talk about their experiences thus far—many members shared anecdotes on the positive experience they’ve had working at 70 Pine, the camaraderie they’ve cultivated, and their shared mission to continue bringing patients back to life.
After several speeches and shared words of encouragement, the group headed outside for our famous ribbon cutting photoshoot! The team shared some laughs, smiles, and hugs as Joshua cut the giant red ribbon, signaling the completion of this awesome triumph. Everyone headed inside afterward for some well-earned cake and sweet treats!
We’re elated by this new growth within one of our amazing clinics. Thank you to the entire team for their continued dedication, making SPEAR the best physical therapy practice around!
All smiles: the team celebrates with a ribbon cutting to commemorate the clinic expansion.
2020 was a memorable year for many reasons—even among the adverse occurrences of the world, there is always something positive to observe. One accomplishment we’re really proud of? The expansion of our Upper East Side – E 84th St clinic! Since we didn’t have a chance to celebrate the awesome upgrades we made to the space last year, we decided to celebrate now!
Last week, we hosted our official ribbon cutting ceremony for E 84th St. The team gathered together to officially celebrate the expansion and additions made to the newly improved space. Clinical Director Joe Losurdo, PT, DPT, addressed the entire team to thank them for their hard work and dedication throughout these trying times. CEO and Co-founder Dan Rootenberg also expressed some words of gratitude for the team’s commitment in helping continue providing care for our patients when they needed it most. The past year has not been easy for anyone—each person’s dedication to the team as a whole proved to be worthwhile and necessary. Now, as New York returns back to a state of normal, the clinic is flourishing and able to continue providing the top-notch care we’re known for.
Clinical Director Joe Losurdo, PT, DPT, talks to team about their past, present, and future growth.
Though the location isn’t brand new, the enhancements certainly are! The extra space, equipment, and added amenities provide better resources for our therapists to treat more patients than ever before. An expanded gym and floor space allows for more room, meaning more availability for patients to receive the treatment they need. One of the coolest additions has been the newly improved Occupational/Hand Therapy station, a dedicated area for all occupational therapy needs. The locker room/changing area also received a nice revamp, allowing for more space for our patients.
Cheers are in order: Hip, hip, hooray!
After some speeches, words of gratitude and discussions for the future, the team headed outside for the ribbon cutting, where the group posed for pictures with the notorious red ribbon and giant pair of scissors! Joe did the honor of making the ceremonial cut, a stamp in time of the amazing accomplishment made possible by the contribution of everyone present. Congratulations to the whole team on this amazing feat!
Last week, the team at Brooklyn – Park Slope congregated to commemorate the one year anniversary of the clinic’s launch! The team excitedly celebrated the eventful occasion with many laughs, pictures, cake, and of course—ribbon cutting!
Opening up just two months into the pandemic in April 2020, it was a tough (and admittedly scary) time to try new things. There were many questions up in the air about whether or not it was the right moment to make such a big decision.
Now, one year later, it’s clear our leadership team made the right choice. Park Slope has evolved into a beaming example of where hard work, determination and grit can take you. With the leadership of Clinical Director Austin Afshar, PT, DPT, CSCS the clinic has already become a beaming illustration of our company values and community impact. Austin addressed each team member directly at the ribbon cutting event, thanking each individual person for their specific contribution in the clinic’s success, and that of our patients.
CEO and Co-founder Dan Rootenberg also spoke to the team, admitting he had his doubts about taking such a big jump during a volatile time. Ultimately, he learned the leap was in good faith. Speaking of the clinic opening, Dan expressed: “It brought hope. It brought inspiration. This was the team, that showed everybody the future, and the positivity—knowing it’s going to be okay.”
Park Slope has been a successful venture thus far because of the dedication of the team. Everyone has input much soul and passion into making the clinic great, and that’s why it will continue to grow and progress. We’re so proud to reach more patients in Brooklyn who need our care. Congratulations to the entire Park Slope team—we know the future is bright!
The Union Square team stands ready to cut the famous big red ribbon!
The unexpected arrival of the pandemic last year put many of our lives on pause. With New York at a standstill, plans and ideas were forced to be placed on hold. For our newly opened Union Square – 14th St clinic, this meant postponing our ribbon cutting ceremony, meant to celebrate the launch of the location, leadership and team.
A year and a half year later, on May 6th, 2021, we were finally able to properly celebrate the opening of this amazing clinic! Led by Clinical Director Michael Virgile, PT, DPT, CSCS, Union Square has already made momentous progress in helping bring New Yorkers back to life. The team has built a close rapport in such a short amount of time; the camaraderie is palpable, and stands a true testament to the fantastic care they bring to patients each day.
Centrally located, the clinic is conveniently situated in a commutable area of Manhattan for ease of accessibility and convenience for our patients. With over 4,000 square feet of space, the clinic provides ample room to give patients the best treatment in comfort and style. The clinic is located right in the center of one of NYC’s most popular neighborhoods, making treatment more easily accessible than ever before. All areas, equipment, rooms, etc. are also always thoroughly cleaned and sanitized per CDC guidelines.
It was amazing getting our team together to celebrate this momentous date together (safely, of course!). We’ve got one and a half years in the books, we can’t wait to see what else our clinic accomplishes!