15-year-old performs in ‘The Nutcracker’ despite physical disability

Michigan

HOLT, MICH. (WLNS)– Jordan Gorward has known what she wants to be when she grows up since she was just 2-years-old.

Her dreams of being a ballerina would be hard to chase, since she is battling Spinal Muscular Atrophy. The genetic disease effects muscles.

According to the National Organization of Rare Disorders, the disease effects approximately 1 in 10,000 live births.

Jordan says she has always wanted to be a dancer as long as she could remember.

“I saw a ballerina on TV and apparently I was absolutely fascinated so I told my mom that I wanted to be a ballerina when I got older,” said Jordan.

She says it was hard trying to find a dance studio.

“A lot of different ballet studios were full or crowded or worried about a wheelchair being there, they didn’t want me to get hurt or hurt anyone,” said Jordan.

People doubted Jordan because she’s in a wheelchair, but that doubt made Jordan want to do it even more.

“I enjoy being able to provide them wrong,” said Jordan.

She got the chance to perform for the first time at 7-years-old. Now, at 15, she has performed in ‘The Nutcracker’ nine times and has been in 15 plays.

It’s just not the costumes, makeup, music and choreography that she says are her favorite part though.

“I think one of my favorite parts about being on stage is getting to have my family watch me,” said Jordan.

This weekend, Jordan performed in ‘The Nutcracker’ at Holt High School with Children’s Ballet Theatre dancers and also other Children’s Miracle Network kids.

“You get to be seen as a dancer, and it’s kind of fun because I get to raise awareness that I can do things,” said Jordan.

It’s not just on stage where Jordan is excelling.

“All four of my core classes are honors classes, I’m also dual enrolled and so I’m currently taking a psychology course at Lansing Community College,” said Jordan.

Jordan says she enjoys science and psychology and is working towards a degree to be a counselor and help kids that have the same daily struggles that she has.

She performed Friday, Saturday and Sunday in the plays as a maid and an angel.

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