Avery Watts is an 11-year-old dancer from Hagerstown, Maryland. She dances at City Ballet School and Urbana Dance Studio.
“Although it’s been scary to learn I [have] a rare disease, dance has helped me by giving me an outlet to express myself.”
How does dance have a positive impact on your life?
“I was diagnosed with a rare disease called Homozygous Familial Hypercholesterolemia when I was just six years old. Although it’s been scary to learn I had a rare disease, dance has helped me by giving me an outlet to express myself. In fact, four years ago I did a solo to “Fight Song” by Rachel Platten to raise awareness of rare diseases. I have to have weekly treatments to clean my blood of the LDL (“bad”) cholesterol through a port in my chest but knowing I have dance that night always helps me get through my treatments. Of course, seeing all my friends at dance always helps, too!”
How do you want to use dance to make a positive influence on your community?
“I would like to continue to use dance as a way to raise awareness of rare diseases. It would be awesome to have another opportunity to do a solo to raise even more awareness. My first solo to “Fight Song” is on YouTube but I would love the opportunity to make another video. Maybe one day I’ll be lucky enough to be on The Ellen DeGeneres Show doing my dance and raising awareness for other kids like me with rare diseases!”