Young Achiever Spotlight: Anna's Dance - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

Young Achiever Spotlight: Anna's Dance

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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB News Channel 5) - There's a teenager in Cenla who has been battling a rare brain disorder since she was born, but it hasn't kept her from following her passion. 

"They said oh, she might have five months, so you just need to take her home and love her for the time you have," said Anna Rogers mother, Donna Gayle Rogers. 

Anna Rogers was born to mother Donna with lissencephaly, a rare brain formation disorder that affects the learning centers of the brain, making development difficult.  
But now, 14 years later, Anna continues to beat the odds.  

"My heart hurt for her because I couldn't fix it," Donna said. "I could just try to make it the best I could; I just kept going."
Mother and daughter kept going - and kept dancing.  
"Anna does not have very articulate verbal skills, and I knew that you could express yourself through dance," said Donna. 
Anna is a student at Steps by Stephanie, even leading her own dance at the spring recital: "The Climb" starring Anna and her mother.  
"I hadn't danced in 25 years," said Donna. "But I was so inspired to dance with her."
"It was a rare moment where everything was clicking: she remembered her steps, she was smiling, she was proud, and I was just glad to be there," Donna said. "And I was happy for everyone to see that side of her."

A lesson in dance and friendship for Anna and her classmates.

"I think if they understand it more, then they can embrace it," said Donna. "And realize it's nothing to be afraid of."
"She has her good days, and she has her bad days," said Donna. "But who doesn't? And it's just a little bit different, and we all have to work together to make it the best we can for her."
Next year, Steps by Stephanie will offer a special needs buddy dance class, inspired by Anna.  
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