Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

Candice's Steely Determination with the Backbone to Match

Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

Candice's Steely Determination with the Backbone to Match

Article excerpt

Byline: Adam Hourigan

WHEN Candice Ingram was 14 years old, she admits she was totally in love with dance, often spending five days a week at the Studio One Dance Academy with her teachers.

But when she started experiencing back pain, the diagnosis put a stop to her dancing dream.

Diagnosed with scoliosis, by the time she underwent surgery in January 2014, she had more than 60 degree curvature in her spine.

Fast-forward to now, and the Grafton High student has completed her HSC studies, and her major dance work has been recognised as one of the best in the state, being nominated for the annual "Callback" dance showcase performance in Sydney.

And while Candice says she is stronger than she's ever been now, at the time of the surgery it was a distant dream.

"I had to have two rods down my back, and there's half a dozen screws in there to correct the curvature," she says.

"I spent eight days in hospital rehab, I had to relearn to walk, and had to learn to cope with all of it because I was used to having a displaced spine -- it was a horrible period."

For three months after the surgery, Candice wasn't allowed to put pressure on her back, with friends helping her carry her school bag, no sport, and definitely no dancing, although that didn't stop the idea.

"After six months I was allowed to come back to dancing, but I was so in love with dancing I'd come to lessons for the previous three months and just watch," she says.

"I just didn't want to miss out, and I'm a visual learner so I was able to pick up what they were doing."

She began dancing again six months after the surgery, still not able to jump until a full twelve months after the back surgery, which Candice says lead to a lot of frustration.

"I was always mentally ready to go back, but I was restricted physically, and Miss Gail (dance teacher Gail Harding) was always great at managing it, always asking 'Are you sure you can do this?" she says.

Given the all clear, Candice faced another hurdle in her HSC dance journey, being the only student at Grafton High wanting to study the subject. …

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