Kaitlyn Harvey has been dancing since she was 3.
“It’s just a way for me to express myself,” said Harvey. “Especially if I’m having a bad day, I can come to dance and just let it all out.”
But at 9 years old that escape was almost taken from her. She was diagnosed with scoliosis, a medical condition where a person’s spine, curves sideways. She had to have surgery to correct it. But by her freshman year in high school, she had over a 50 percent curvature in her spine and had to have 2 rods inserted in her back.
“Yeah the second (surgery) was a lot worse, because I can’t really move the same now, and so after that, I had to relearn how to dance again," said Harvey. “Pretty much. Because everything was different and I couldn’t move the same as I did before.”
But she overcame once again and was named the captain of the Nederland Westernaires, her high school dance team. And will be auditioning to become part of the famous Kilgore Rangerettes in July. Kaitlyn’s mom, Pam Harvey has always seen the resilience in her daughter.
“Oh yeah very proud,” said Harvey. “Very proud. She is going to put her mind to whatever she wants and do her best to achieve it. And if she gets knocked down, she just gets back up and moves on.
For Dawn Fitzgerald Swindel who has been teaching dance for 28 years, she believes that Kaitlyn’s condition has strengthened her as a dancer.
“They build their own new characteristics about themselves,” said Fitzgerald Swindel. “They usually discover something they didn’t know that they had deep inside. I definitely think Kaitlyn had it in her, she just didn’t know it.”
And for Kaitlyn. She believes she can now overcome anything.
“It’s really helped me be able to push myself and I’ve just gotten a lot more confident in myself,” said Harvey. “and I just know like I can do anything I set my mind to.”