As some of you know, I submitted a dance improv video to this year's EDS conference talent show. Being able to dance again means so much to me, and submitting that video was a huge milestone and accomplishment for me. I wanted to share that video on here, and also a little bit of my story with EDS and dance. Eight years ago, I was an active 11 year old child who loved dancing. The onset of my EDS symptoms started at this time. The unexplained chronic pain began in my arms, mimicking carpal tunnel and tennis elbow symptoms. But as the months went by, the pain migrated to the rest of my body. At age 14, I had to stop most physical activities, including ballet classes. I didn't think I would ever dance again. Soon after, the downward spiral of deconditioning began. The pain made it increasingly difficult to comb my hair, brush my teeth, do my schoolwork, and walk any distance longer than around my block. Age 16, after two years of intense biweekly biomechanics sessions, I was able to, for the most part, gain back ability to perform these tasks of daily living. My passion for dance had not left me, and I tried to start again at my former studio, unaware of EDS. But I was unable to continue after two classes when my back spasmed and my chiropractor informed me it was because one of my lumbar vertebrae had slipped. Soon after, I was diagnosed with HSD and found Jeannie and the Zebra Club. I then realized that before I could attempt to return to ballet again, I had to learn how to move without going into the hyperextended range of my joints. I started her videos and realized just how deconditioned I was when I could barely get through the gentle videos. Now, almost three years of daily TZC videos, quite a few one on one sessions, many setbacks, and a year and a half long injury later, I have begun the journey back to dance again. I was also able to submit a dance video to the EDS conference talent show. Although I did flare afterwards, I was able to do it without injury, thanks to all of Jeannie's exercises and the acute body awareness and proprioception they have instilled in me. It's been a long journey and so many days I wanted to give up. But I am so grateful for the zebra club and everything that Jeannie does for our community. I wouldn't be where I am now without it.

Posted by Rachel H at 2022-08-11 17:59:55 UTC