News & Achievements

Year 11 Lowena defies the odds in the world of dance

A 15-year-old student at Truro High School is busy preparing to shine on stage this winter at the school’s annual dance show when only three years ago she feared she might never walk again.

Year 11 dancer Lowena takes challenges in her stride. Every week this term has seen her leading rehearsals with younger students for an impressive group routine as well as practising for her own solo ballet number for this year’s instalment of Dance Show LIVE!

She is also busy preparing to take her RAD grade 5 ballet and IDTA intermediate freestyle examinations this week.

During half term, she even spent a day with the school’s photography tutor, Lauren Courtenay, documenting a performance art dance piece she has created as part of her GCSE art portfolio.

As she continues to flourish in the world of dance, it’s hard to believe that only three years ago Lowena thought she might never dance again following a diagnosis of scoliosis – a condition that causes back pain and curvature of the spine.

She spent a year in a back brace but unfortunately the curve progressed to greater than 50 degrees at which point doctors said that surgery was essential.

The young dancer underwent a seven hour-long procedure to reduce her symptoms, which saw doctors hold her spine in position with 11 two-inch nails and nine steel rods whilst bone grafts developed.

She missed most of the Michaelmas term but following Christmas came back with huge determination to not let her condition hold her back.

It’s been long and emotional journey to get back in the dance studio but 12 months post-op she had achieved a distinction in her RAD grade 4 ballet, honours in her IDTA bronze freestyle and wowed audiences at Truro High’s Dance Show LIVE! 2017.

Another year down the line and Lowena has gone from strength to strength both on stage and in the studio.

She said: “It’s pretty amazing to see how far I’ve come since the operation. I really enjoy dance – it helps take your mind off work and, for me, it’s a real escape. I’m really focussed on the dance show right now. I’m a little bit stressed about it at the moment but I’m so excited to get on stage.”

Dance is an important part of life at Truro High with Prep pupils given the chance to learn ballet, street dance and lyrical as part of their everyday curriculum. Senior girls are also encouraged to pursue their dreams with dance teacher, Miss Danyelle Fry, helping them learn new skills and choreograph their own routines in both classes and extra-curricular clubs. This talent is celebrated every winter when girls from 4 – 18 take to the stage to perform at Truro High’s Dance Show LIVE!

Published by: Grace Kennard

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