Teen dancer with s-shaped spine is now back in the studio after successful eight hour operation
An aspiring ballerina who had her dreams crushed after developing an s-shaped spine is finally dancing again after a gruelling eight hour operation.
Nikita Chidick, 17, from Leeds, was devastated when she was diagnosed after her mum spotted an unusual lump in her back whilst she was changing into her leotard.
The crippling condition meant that the promising dancer developed balance issues, agonizing back pain and a limp – and her dreams of becoming a famous ballerina were over.
But after a gruelling eight hour operation, where a metal rods were fitted to straighten the spine, Nikita is finally back in her dancing shoes – and now she dances every single day.
Nikita said: “It’s a dream come true to be back to dancing every day with a straight spine.
“My spine had become so curved that people at school were starting to notice it through my school uniform.
“I was terrified when I realised I needed an eight-hour operation to fix the problem but I knew I needed to have it done otherwise I wouldn’t be able to become a professional dancer when I’m older.
“Having a straight spine has made a massive difference to my life, I spent a year not dancing to allow my body to recover.
“That was the most frustrating year of my life as all I wanted to do was dance.
“But when I was allowed back to my dance classes last year and I started a college course in contemporary, street and ballet it made all the pain worthwhile.”
Nikita’s mum, Maria, 37, first took her daughter to ballet classes at the age of five-years-old and knew how difficult it would be her to stop dancing while her spine healed.
Maria, who owns a hair and beauty salon, said: “Dancing is a huge part of Nikita’s life and she struggled not to attend any classes but now she has a straight spine and is free from pain.
“I first noticed Nikita had a lump on her spine when she was doing some stretches in her room while wearing her leotard.
“She diagnosed with scoliosis in 2011, her condition got rapidly worse from there and we were put on a waiting list for corrective surgery.
“Even though the condition isn’t life threatening it would have restricted her movements while dancing and it had become really noticable.
“When I realised she needed an eight-hour operation, I was worried.
“I had no idea what scoliosis was until Nikita was diagnosed so it took a lot of researching online and visits with spinal specialists before we both got to grips with how the condition affects your life.”
Nikita knew she needed the operation so she could continue to lead a normal life and after two years on the waiting list, she underwent the spinal surgery at Leeds General Infimary Hospital in October 2013.
Nikita added: “I am now at college studying dance so I’m able to practice every single day which is amazing.
“I will need another operation in the future to correct my ribs as they have moved because of my spinal condition.
“I hope to finish my studies at college and become a professional dancer when I am older.
“I hope my story shows other young girls that you can achieve your dreams despite scoliosis.
“I will never allow it to hold me back in life and I hope others seek hope from my story.”
A spokesman for Leeds Teaching Hospitals said: “All our staff are delighted to hear that Nikita is doing so well after her surgery at Leeds Children’s Hospital and that the expertise of our team has enabled her to make the most of her dancing talents. We wish her well with her career.”