Chicago Proud: 'Bent But Not Broken' creative director and dancer with scoliosis, Paige Fraser, spreads awareness

CHICAGO (WLS) -- June is Scoliosis Awareness Month. Scoliosis is a sideways curvature of the spine which is painful and often debilitating. One young professional dancer is not letting that condition stop her from living her dream.

Paige Fraser was featured in a critically-acclaimed Intel commercial which aired four years ago during the Grammy Awards and the Super Bowl.

In the spot, she talked about the challenges of dancing with scoliosis.

Since then, Fraser has danced with "West Side Story" and was toured with "The Lion King". She is also a tireless advocate for dancers with her condition.

"Your body is going against everything that it should with dance," said Fraser. "You're aiming to be aligned, you're aiming to be perfect and you have a spinal deformity that causes your body to go against that."

During much of her early career, Paige used a brace for spinal alignment. She also discovered holistic methods to improve her ability to move. Now she's sharing all that knowledge and encouragement through "The Paige Fraser Foundation."

"I'd love to see more people with spinal deformities share their experiences and for more of us to be hired, for more of us to have work and not be looked upon as someone who can't do anything," Fraser said.

As part of her mission, Fraser crafted a short film called "Bent But Not Broken," featuring other dancers living with scoliosis.

"There's a young girl in her brace and she's dancing, defying the odds," Fraser said. "And I want to encourage people to push their limit, whatever that may be in life."

Her goal is to do just that, push the limits and inspire others.

"Don't give up on your dreams and know that anything is possible despite the fact that you'll have to work a little bit harder than the dancer next to you or your classmate," Fraser said. "You may have to go this way or that way which is kind of ironic since that's how my spine is shaped, but it will always lead you to where you're supposed to be."

Paige also teaches classes across the country. In addition to her performance goals, she hopes to one day open a dance center which emphasizes health and wellness.

CLICK HERE For more information on The Paige Fraser Foundation and to view her film "Bent But Not Broken."
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