After graduating from with a B.S. from Arizona State University, Mitch jumped into the dance world, first with three scholarships at local ballet studios and then spending four years professionally dancing with four modern dance and one ballet company in Phoenix and Tucson. He felt first hand the dramatic affects of good bodywork, resculpting his own athletic body, (3 years of high school wrestling & track and field,) into a dancer’s body along with daily dance class.
Mitch began his manual therapy practice in 1977, providing massage therapy for The Dance Theater of Harlem, “A Chorus Line,” (1st International touring company,” Rudolf Nureyev (Greek Theater,) & the Bill Evans Dance Co. (six week Seattle residence.)
In 1978 Mr. Gries moved his practice to Los Angeles and worked with American Ballet Theater including Mikhail Baryshnikov, Natasha Makarova, Fernando Bujones, Carla Fracci, Clark Tippet, Ivan Nagy, Ted Kivitt, Karena Brock, Marcos Parades, John Meehan, Robert La Fosse, William Carter and Alexander Minz. Later that year he provided muscular therapy for the Royal Ballet including Anthony Dowell, David Wall, Georgina Parkinson, Leslie Collier, Lynn Seymour & Merle Park.
These were not just good deep massage therapy sessions, Mr. Gries many times had to get injured dancers back on stage within a day or even only hours. Mitch quickly developed techniques to speed up the professional dancers’ recovery to injuries, from head to toe. In the 1990s Mr. Gries studied and became certified in the Ida P. Rolf Method of Structural Integration, Swedish School of Therapeutic Stretching/Trigger Pt. Release & St. John Neuromuscular Therapy.
- The Joffrey Ballet Co. 1984 & ’89 West Side Story Pantages 2010-11,
- Baryshnikov at Hollywood Bowl ’79, “Baryshnikov on Broadway” ’82
- Royal Ballet ’78/79 LA, National Ballet of Canada ’88 Western tour,
- Riverdance 2006 Pantages, La Cage Aux Folles LA ’84-85 Pantages,
- Kirov Ballet ’03 S. Cal tour, Stars of the Russian Ballet ’98 Cal. tour
- Michael Jackson’s “THRILLER,”
- “CATS” &“Sophisticated Ladies” Shubert.
- Mattew Bournes’ Swan Lake/Cinderella, Play W/Out Words Ahmanson & “FOSSE”
- Paris Opera Ballet ’95 /97, Cirque du Soleil’s Drallion
- Topol & the cast of Fiddler on the Roof
- Dirty Dancing, Pantages.
- Baryshnikov for his Chekov performances 2015
- Circus 1903 Pantages Feb. 2017
Please consider including Neuromuscular Massage Therapy into your busy schedule to maintain the joy of performing, the amount of staging you do can stress the body, leaving your muscles feeling tired & painful, eventually damaging fibers, interfering with your ability to be at your best on-stage. St. John Neuromuscular therapy is the most precise, comprehensive & deep tissue soft tissue treatment available. Restore proper muscle length/strength, alleviate pain/ inflammation, enhance muscle tone, facilitate greater flexibility range of motion and promote rapid healing of injuries. Dance to your potential with fresh legs.
Today’s athlete needs rejuvenation and recovery in order to maintain optimum health, and performance. Many trainers and coaches tout rigorous exercises and athletic programs, denying their athletes the ability to effectively recover from intense training regimes. The athlete’s body needs a balanced internal environment (homeostasis) in order to maximize their potential. Many physiological dysfunctions and imbalances are directly traced to the body’s repeated exposure to repetitive biomechanical pain and emotional stress directly challenging the body’s natural homeostasis. St. John Neuromuscular Therapy is a hands-on soft tissue therapy specifically designed to identify and address muscular dysfunction and pain. This effective therapy boosts the body’s ability to recover from prolonged exposure to the stress and strain of overtraining and fatigue. By Barrence Baytos CNMT
Mitch Gries has worked with world-class dancers, the ultimate athlete, (strength with grace.) He also has treated many athletes from the NBA, NFL, professional tennis players, and the USC Men’s Swim Team.