Recovery road

Freshman dancer resumes the spotlight after hip surgery.


Provided by Taylor Wenzel

Freshman Taylor Wenzel has been dancing for 12 years with KJ dance.

For 12 years, dancing was freshman Taylor Wenzel’s life. But a recent discovery brought her dancing days to a sudden stop.

“It happened a year and a half ago,” Taylor said. “I was doing a grand battement. I had a misshapen bone in my hip so it just clipped it kind of weird and tore my hip labrum. I had to get surgery to fix it and now I’m recovering.”

Provided by Taylor Wenzel
After six months of recovery, Wenzel is back on stage.

Patients are expected to return to normal activities six months after surgery, so for Taylor, it’s now a matter of getting strength and flexibility back.

“I start with like 25 percent of what I can do, 50 percent, 75 percent and then all the way back,” Taylor said. “It’s really a short time; it’s just seeing I can’t do this, but I can do this and just balancing that so I don’t overwork myself.”

20 percent of annual injuries in professional dancers are hip injuries but Taylor’s mom believes with endurance, she will be as good as new.

“When she was dancing before, she could pretty much do anything and now she has a lot of limitations just based on how in shape she is and being to remember all the different combinations,” Hope Wenzel said. “I think it’s going to be very flow. She’s going to have to really work up to it and relearn a lot of stuff and strengthen her hip even more.”

After five and a half years, her teacher at KJ Dance has seen what she can do and remains optimistic about a quick transition.

Provided by Taylor Wenzel
Taking he final bow with her team at the Giving Gala, Wenzel was back in the spotlight.

“She’s very hardworking and very driven,” teacher Brian Stevens said. “She’s easy to teach. We will see what happens. I think she’ll just have to work a little harder but she’s the type of kid that will. I don’t think she’ll have much of an issue with it also because her body. She has kind of a dancer built body. I think she’ll be able to get into it pretty fast.”

Medically, dancing can be addictive and even though she is not considering a career in dance, she is seeing the effects.

“I guess it’s kind of taught me that I can’t dance professionally,” Taylor said. “There is just a random thing that could happen that could put you out of a job but like right now I still really want to dance. Dancing is like my safe place where I know I can just let out any emotion and be whoever I want to be. I haven’t found anything else that lets me do that.”