A TALENTED teenage dancer from Halesowen is pirouetting again just a year after being diagnosed with curvature of the spine which dashed her dreams of a life on the stage.
Charlotte Brass, aged 14, was left in excruciating pain when she developed scoliosis and told she would need major spinal fusion surgery if she was to sing and dance again.
After hearing details of the 10-hour operation her family searched the internet for alternative therapies and enrolled her in a course of exercise classes with London clinic Scoliosis SOS which had an immediate effect.
Charlotte said: "Scoliosis completely rocked my world. I have always been so passionate about dance, getting up on the stage and giving absolutely everything to performing, but when I started feeling tired and getting pain down my back, it was really hard to stay motivated. I struggled to keep up with all my practices and I lost loads of confidence.
"Everyone around me was really worried and it was hard because I felt like certain things were being kept from me.”
She added: "The diagnosis hit me extremely hard. I did not know what was happening to my body and was worried that my talent would be overlooked because of the deformity. I had lost a great deal of flexibility and my confidence deteriorated fast."
Charlotte began visiting Scoliosis SOS which is run by Erika Maude, who has Scoliosis herself, and opened seven years ago, bringing relief to sufferers using none surgical treatments including tailored exercises.
She said: "I feel like I have been re-born, it’s incredible the results I have. My back looks amazing and I have my energy back. My confidence has soared and I am so excited about going back to school and perfecting my new routines.
"I am still very determined to make it as a professional dancer and as soon as I have finished school this is something I am going to pursue. I have made some amazing friends and their support has been priceless.
"I am ecstatic that I have been able to avoid surgery, having surgery would have stopped me from being who I want to be and would have damaged my ability to perform. The exercises are easy, and I have just adapted them so that they fit in with everyday life."
She added: "The only advice I would give to other girls with scoliosis is to have a look at other treatment methods, not every treatment is going to be right for everyone, but for me being pressurised to have my spine fused was not helpful, and exercises are a far better alternative.”