As a dancer, suffering from physical adversity is one of the hardest things in the world but for 15-year-old Olivia Withington, she has grown stronger from her own crippling battles.

2019 Beyond Dance Ambassador Olivia Withington has certainly had her ups and downs. She started dancing in Tasmania, competing in countless eisteddfods and eventually moved to Melbourne to train at Michelle Rae School of Dance. After winning medals and trophies, her dancing journey came to a sudden halt after a shocking pain ran through her foot.

She injured her heel, consequently leading to surgery almost a year later. It was first diagnosed as severs disease, which is commonly related to the body growing too rapidly. After the pain increased, she began to look deeper into the issue with scans.

“We found a cyst under my Achille and a piece of bone that was abnormal. After trying everything possible with no luck it was time to visit the surgeon. This was when I was told that what I had is known as a Haglund’s bump,” Olivia said.

© Monsta Images.

She had danced continuously since she was five-years-old, so stopping dancing was very difficult. Now after a year-and-a-half after surgery, Olivia is only beginning to get back on her feet with the assistance of extensive physiotherapy.

“Dancing is my escape from reality and my solution to any problem,” said Olivia. “So the longer I wasn’t dancing, the harder it became for me physically, emotionally and mentally.”

Olivia’s strength is now put on a pedestal as she has been announced as the next Beyond Dance Festival ambassador proudly supporting beyondblue.

“Nothing is impossible! The word itself says, ‘Im-possible’ I believe these mottos have helped me through so much and they are always there just to give me some reassurance when I need it.”

Photo by Monsta Images Dance and Stage Photography. 

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