Life is about following our dreams, no matter what the obstacles may be.
Just as there are billions of people on planet Earth, there are also billions of different possible life paths. With different dreams come different challenges. For those who dream of dancing on an elite level, there are many sacrifices of time and body that are required to attain that goal. Still, some have a more difficult path ahead of them than others.
Fewer people have had a more challenging path than Tiffany Geigel.
Geigel is a 32-year-old woman from Brooklyn, New York.
Although Geigel is much like anyone with a high-reaching dream except that she has faced a special difficulty. Geigel was born with a rare bone disorder called Jarco-Levin Syndrome (JLS), a disorder which affects bone growth. Some of its effects include a curved spine, shorter torsos and fewer vertebrae than is normal.
Needless to say, Geigel’s parents were worried about her health and her future.
To fight back against the degenerative disorder, Geigel’s parents put her in dance classes.
Though Geigel was only five years old, she took to dancing immediately and over time it became something of a life’s mission. While she still comes home with pains and aches like any other professional athlete, she says that dancing has kept her body limber and healthy. More than that, it has given Geigel a sense of achievement and a way to stand out.
In her own words, Geigel says that dance has become a huge part of her life:
“Dance is a way for me to say, “I can do this.””
More specifically, it was a way for her to prove her doubters wrong.
Geigel has been dancing for a long time.
Because she has spent so long honing her craft and refining her technique, her newest goal, she says, is to undergo a total transformation through her performances. She wants audiences to focus only on her skill, forgetting everything else—and she says she’s getting closer to that dream everyday:
“What I want to happen and which has happened lately is, I want to go on stage and dance and have the audience forget that I look different or that I’m disabled. That I’m actually just a dancer.”
Above all, Geigel’s story is one of inspiration and determination.
Despite her hardships, Geigel found a way to express herself through her limitations. She was able to stand tall and be proud of her accomplishments, all through her focus and talent. Still, Geigel has a simpler way of describing it:
“Don’t judge a book by it’s cover.”
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