She has battled autism and a rare genetic disorder throughout her 10 years, so for Clara Bergs, dancing the entire lead routine of a lauded ballet is a breeze.
The youngster has stunned her family – and thousands of internet users – with her dance moves after memorizing the lead performance from the Coppélia ballet.
Her parents, who live in Toronto, thought their daughter was just trying out dance routines she had learned in ballet class, so were shocked to discover she had learned the performance by heart.
One day someone decided to whip out a computer and compare her moves to that of the Coppelia ballerina,’ they wrote on YouTube. ‘And, VOILA, we realized she memorized it, and can dance it!’
Clara may have DiGeorge syndrome, a chromosomal defect that leads to poor development, but her energy and big smile as she glides between the moves show how nothing will get in her way.
The youngster was diagnosed with the condition shortly after her birth and spent the first 16 months of her life in hospital, undergoing multiple surgeries to battle complications of the syndrome.
It is usually linked with heart defects, poor immune system function, a cleft palate, complications related to low levels of calcium in the blood and behavioral disorders.
Around 14 children are affected in every 100,000 live births, according to the National Institute of Health.
She is also autistic, which affects behavior, communication and socialization in one out of 88 children.
She arrived home after eventually leaving hospital with a ventilator, on oxygen and taking medication.
Just before she turned two, her parents noticed she was struggling to connect with people and ‘was in a world of her own’ and was diagnosed with autism two years later.
‘Doctors told us when she was born to forget about her – we could just have another baby,’ her parents wrote. ‘But we couldn’t give up. Never underestimate your child’s potential!’
Even though Clara was diagnosed with these conditions, she has stayed relatively healthy thanks to therapies, supplements and diets.
She started walking at the age of four and talking at the age of six – ‘and has blossomed into a lively dancing queen who always loves an audience’, her parents added.
Coppelia is a comical ballet, originally choreographed by Arthur Saint-Leon to the music of Leo Delibes, which follows an inventor and his life-sized dancing doll.
WHAT IS DiGEORGE SYNDROME?
Around 14 children are affected by DiGeorge Syndrome in every 100,000 live births. The birth defect is caused by an abnormality in chromosome 22 and affects the immune system. The condition is usually linked with heart defects, poor immune system function, a cleft palate, complications related to low levels of calcium in the blood and behavioral disorders. Facial features associated with the condition include low-set ears, wide-set eyes, a small jaw, and a short groove in the upper lip. Each ailment must be treated differently; heart defects are treated surgically; calcium deficiencies are given supplements; and to help their immune systems, they must avoid sources of infection like large crowds.