Rockettes’ Pick for Dancer of the Week: Cancer Survivor Dancing En Pointe
Who: Gabi Shull from Warrensburg, MO
Why we chose her: Even though 14-year-old Gabi Shull has a prosthetic right leg, she isn’t letting that interfere with enjoying one of her greatest passions—dancing en pointe.
Diagnosed with osteosarcoma—a very rare cancer of the bone that destroys tissue and weakens the bone—in March 2011, doctors amputated most of Gabi’s right leg, but were able to save her foot. She underwent rotationplasty, where doctors turned her foot around and placed her heel under her new knee (her ankle became the knee joint).
While Gabi’s new prosthetic allowed her to walk, she wasn’t able to practice ballet … that is until she asked her prosthetist Keith Andrews to customize her a foot that allowed her to dance en pointe.
“I wasn’t sure how it was going to work, and then she immediately got up on pointe, and started moving around and practicing, and I was like whoa—this is going to work better than I expected it would,” Keith told FOX affiliate WDAF-TV.
We are so proud of and inspired by you, Gabi—keep on dancing!
Fun fact: Gabi is the national spokesperson for TheTruth365, the Emmy Award-winning documentary film and social media campaign that gives a voice to all children fighting cancer.
Rockette kicks (on a scale of 10 to 10!):