Jasmin Baltzer

Queensland • Australia

Story

I started dancing when I was 3 years old, learning every style from ballet to hip hop for 13 years. Dance and music became my life, I loved to dance so much it was an addiction, I would hear the music and start to move or choreograph to whatever style would suit. As I grew older and my talent & confidence developed more I decided to enter dance competitions, this was a fantastic step for me as it allowed me to see & meet other dancers from different dance schools. I received wonderful marks and critiques, encouraging me to work harder and learn more skills. With the help of new teachers i started to learn acrobatics, another style that I embraced. One day I was invited to go to our local gymnastic center with 4 other students and our 2 teachers, it was an open/free day. It was a fantastic afternoon, so much fun to bounce, flip & perfect our techniques on the equipment. Under the guidance of the gymnastic coaches we were encouraged to try harder, unfortunately I decided to try a double back flip, the first flip was perfect but the second didn't turn out as expected and I landed on the right side of my head & shoulder. Instantly my life took a change for the worse, thankfully it happened on a tumble trampoline otherwise i would not be alive to tell my story if it was on the floor. From the time the ambulance came, up to 3 months later I was in a rigid neck brace. I had a fracture in the C5 of my neck, for the first week I was flat on my back in hospital, after x-rays, CT scans & MRI the doctors decided that I should be fine to go home. With regular visits to the specialists and more x-rays with every visit, I thought my recovery was going well, as I wore my neck brace constantly, but about a month after my accident while at my appointment the doctor told us there was movement with my fracture and they might have to do surgery to fuse my C4 & C5 together, which would mean I'd lose 40% movement in my neck. My heart sunk, i had to wait another week before the doctors discussed my case and would let me know what was going to happen. The verdict was No Surgery! from then on I took my healing & recovery very serious. I kept up with singing in musical theatre and performed in our end of year concert with my neck brace on, even for our group photos I had my brace on. I was unable to do any dance exams & join in any of the dances I had been part of for most of the year, emotionally this was one of the hardest things to go through. Starting a new year with strict instructions to keep up a slow & steady rehabilitation for a year, I had to do Physio visits and accept the fact that I couldn't do all the dancing I was previous to my accident. I have learnt to not take freedom of movement for granted and have developed a new outlook of my life. Now its been 18 months since my accident, I'm in year 12 at school & I have finialised my studies in Cert. III in Dance, and have plans to pursue a career in dance or musical theatre. I know how important my life is and feel that my story shares the strength & determination to achieve dreams.