Dancing starlet proves doctors wrong

IPSWICH: Little Stevie Farrow is today preparing for a moment his family never imagined possible.

The five-year-old has a genetic disorder that has left him totally blind and can also affect his heart, his muscle strength and his balance.

Doctors feared that he may never walk but Stevie, of Kitchener Road, Ipswich, found his feet in his own time and has now he has gone one step further – and is dancing and entering a ballroom contest.

His mum, Stephanie Farrow, said: “My daughter started dancing about two years ago and my older son has lessons now too.

“Stevie wanted to have a go but it was hard to find an instructor who could teach him because he cannot see them, we needed someone who was prepared to adapt their whole method of teaching.”

Teacher Sam Button of the Ipswich School of Dance, in Bond Street, came to the rescue and offered to teach Stevie on a one-to-one basis.

“She holds him and guides him through the movements,” said Mrs Farrow. “It is difficult because he doesn’t understand the different directions, he only knows forwards and backwards so she has to say come towards me or step away from me.

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“We are so grateful, she didn’t hesitate even though she had to learn a completely different style of teaching.” Stevie is learning ballroom and Latin dancing with Sam and is proving a natural.

“I knew he would be okay with the ballroom because you are always holding on to your partner whereas with the Latin you have to let go of your partner and he has only just grasped that,” said Mrs Farrow.

“It is fantastic, he did a competition in February in Rushmere and he came first. To see him competing against normal kids and winning is amazing. It bought a tear to our eyes.

“I didn’t tell them he was blind because I didn’t want him to get the sympathetic vote, we wanted him to win because of his dancing and he did.”

Stevie and his teacher danced the Cha Cha in the Latin section of the junior contest and now he is practising for a ballroom competition at the end of the month.

“He likes to talk all the time and we have to tell him he can’t during the competitions because it doesn’t look very professional. It is hard for him because talking is the only way he can understand what is going on,” said Mrs Farrow..

“He has to put his complete trust in Sam and rely on her to show him where to go and make sure he doesn’t trip over.”

She added: “She has worked really hard with him and he loves her.”

n Do you know someone who has overcome adversity? If you have a story write to the Newsdesk, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail starnews@eveningstar.co.uk.

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