A YOUNG dancer has overcome her disability to claim more than 300 trophies in the three years she has been competing.
Amy Crouch, 12, of Church Road, Tarring, suffers from joint hypermobility syndrome – a hereditary condition which gives an unusually large range of movement in some of her joints.
As a result of her condition, Amy experiences joint pain, soft tissue injuries and bone damage – she has chipped bones mid-routine while competing.
“If I do too much or over-bend I can really injure myself. Injuries don’t put me off. Sometimes I don’t notice I’ve broken something,” said Amy.
Her grandmother Olwen Quin, 59, of Downview Road, Worthing, said: “People think she is such a good dancer and so bendy but they don’t realise how much she suffers.
“I think what she has done is absolutely amazing, she works so hard and we’re so proud of her.”
Amy started dancing at the age of nine when Olwen suggested she visit the Premier Dance Academy, which specialises in freestyle dance.
Olwen said: “She used to do cheerleading with the Zodiac Allstars and I saw this dance school and I said why don’t you give it a go and that was it. She was always more of a dancer than a cheerleader.
“It’s amazing how they remember each dance. She comes up with moves and I think how does she do that?”
Amy goes to classes two or three times a week and practices at home everyday.
She said her dance teacher Carla Porter was her role model.
“She’s really nice and teaches us lots of things.”
Olwen added: “She doesn’t talk down to them, she’s on their level.”
Amy’s mum Sam Crouch, 35, has travelled all over the country, from Bournemouth to Blackpool, to take Amy to competitions.
She said: “She’s only been dancing for three years, most people have done it for a lot longer before they get to where she is.
“She’s broken bones in her arms while dancing. She carries on after she’s done it, she’s done it once in a competition and carried on for the whole weekend.”
Amy is hoping to compete in the Freestyle Dancing World Championships next year in Blackpool and said that she would like to become a professional freestyle dancer.