Scoliosis diagnosis doesn’t slow youth’s dance career

Emily Turik participates in a dance competition, which is a remarkable feat, given her scoliosis. [submitted]

Emily Turik has competed in dance since fifth grade, a remarkable feat given the scoliosis condition she lives with.

A visit to a back specialist the summer before fourth grade revealed “an S curve, two curves. Each was probably about 20 degrees at that point,” she explained. “I had four back braces from fourth grade to eighth grade so it wouldn’t get worse. I wore them every night.

“But as I grew, it got worse. The top curve was 60 degrees, the bottom curve 80 and my spine was rotated before surgery. I have two rods on either side of my spine. They go from the base of my neck all the way down to my tailbone. They will be with me for the rest of my life. There’s still a slight curve there and it’s still slightly twisted.”

Emily battles through it all. It’s a challenge, but one that she’s up to.

“Some moves cause me pain,” she acknowledged. “And now, after surgery, I don’t have any flexibility in my back, so there are just a lot of moves that I am not able to do.”

The condition might slow her down but certainly does not stop her desire and ability to compete with her dance routines, which she hopes to continue at Arizona State.

Read more about Emily here: College comes early – Heritage girls complete high school in 3 years.


This content was first published in the August edition of InMaricopa magazine.