Kansas woman doesn't let her 'tiny legs' keep her from winning dancing competitions
10:30 AM, Aug 18, 2010
5:45 PM, Aug 18, 2010
OVERLAND PARK, Kansas - When 34-year-old JoAnne Fluke of Ottawa, Kansas, was born
premature, doctors thought she would only live for 72 hours. But
she defied the doctor’s prognoses and two weeks later, was
JoAnne was born with a rare birth defect in which the bottom
half of the spine is missing, JoAnne has tiny webbed legs that she
can’t use or control and is shorter than a 10-month-old
child. The defect is called caudal regression syndrome.
Despite her tremendous obstacles, JoAnne has a ferociously
independent spirit with a full-time career and a passion for dance.
She has competed and won several national wheelchair dance
"Dancing brings out all this artistic and emotion that I didn't
know was there," said Fluke.
"I'm just JoAnne; I don't do the things to inspire but to
hopefully make a difference and hopefully encourage people to move
forward to reach their passion," she added.
JoAnne is also hoping to get more people involved in wheelchair
dance competitions. Her dance partner is Brandon White.
"Just my experience dancing with her has been awesome because
it's just given me the inspiration seeing someone not letting
something keep them back from doing what they love," White
JoAnne and Brandon have won first and second place in wheelchair
dance competitions. Now, they're practicing for a competition in
If you would like to get involved as a wheelchair dancer, an
able-bodied dance partner or a corporate sponsor you can contact
the Groove Ability website by
JoAnne’s inspiring story will be featured in a special
show on Sunday, August 22, at 9 p.m. on TLC. The special is called
'Dancer With Tiny Legs.'