Kansas woman doesn't let her 'tiny legs' keep her from winning dancing competitions

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 home.

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 competitions.

"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 explained.


JoAnne and Brandon have won first and second place in wheelchair dance competitions. Now, they're practicing for a competition in November.


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 clicking here.

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.' 

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