This 6-Year-Old Girl with a Rare Illness Is Zumba's Biggest Rising Star
Audrey Nethery can’t stop moving, and nothing – not even a rare illness – will slow her down.
The 6-year-old, who suffers from the bone marrow failure syndrome Diamond-Blackfan anemia, won hearts when she brought her tiny and impressive dance moves to the stage at an international Zumba convention in Orlando, Florida, last week.
Audrey danced to a special routine alongside her hometown instructors and some other Zumba stars in front of a packed audience.
The little girl first fell in love with the Latin-inspired dance exercise when her hometown gym in Louisville, Kentucky, began offering classes.
Her mother, Julie Haise, regularly shared videos of Audrey performing her routines and eventually caught the attention of someone in Zumba’s corporate office, according to Today. Audrey was subsequently invited to the convention and sent the routine to prepare.
“When she’s not doing Zumba, she’s singing and dancing, and there was a lot of singing and dancing going on after that call,” Haise told Today after Audrey found out about the trip.
Haise shared the video of her daughter’s applause-generating performance on social media. Audrey is a natural, shaking it in a pink T-shirt and black leggings.
“Here is the professional video Zumba produced of Audrey dancing at the Zumba convention,” Haise wrote on Facebook. “Thanks so much Zumba!!! We appreciate everything you have done for our family!!!”
The trip included a meet-and-greet with famous Zumba instructors and a visit to Walt Disney World, where Audrey met her favorite princesses, all of which Haise documented on Facebook.
“Every time I see her dance, even when it’s just in her class, it makes me cry, but seeing her up on that stage was incredible,” Haise said. “When she’s dancing, she’s happy and brings so much joy to everyone watching.”
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Diamond-Blackfan anemia is characterized by a failure of the bone marrow to produce red blood cells. In turn, DBA patients become severely anemic.