The Gold Coast Bulletin - - NEWS - KIRSTIN PAYNE [email protected]

IS­ABELLA Mur­ray-Daff shouldn’t be danc­ing, let alone do­ing pirou­ettes.

Di­ag­nosed with sco­l­io­sis at 14 years old, the pas­sion­ate gym­nast was left heart­bro­ken when she was told she would have to give up her sport.

“I loved gym­nas­tics, it was my favourite thing to do in the world,” said the Lind­is­farne Angli­can Gram­mar School stu­dent.

“I cried a lot. I didn’t know what else I was go­ing to do.”

It was in her dark­est mo­ments that she was in­tro­duced to bal­let teacher Dianne Cas­sil­lis, who helped her swap tum­bles for tu­tus.

“I was in­vited to trial with Dianne at First Po­si­tion Bal­let, they made me feel wel­come, I re­alised it was some­thing I could do,” Is­abella said.

After un­der­go­ing painful key­hole surgery in June, the Tweed teen took to the dance floor while still in re­cov­ery.

“I just fell in love with the way I could ex­press my­self with it,” she said. “I am happy I can do some­thing again.”

The teen is now part of the Gold Coast Youth Bal­let Com­pany, the first and only lo­cal youth bal­let com­pany of­fer­ing per­for­mances.

She hopes to play a ma­jor part in the first show.

“It was all thanks to Miss Cas­sil­lis who eased me back into bal­let but was still fo­cus­ing on my re­cov­ery and tech­nique,” Is­abella said.


Gold Coast girl Is­abella Mur­ray-Daff has bounced back from a ma­jor back op­er­a­tion to chase her dreams. (Above) an X-ray of her mis­aligned spine.


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