Performance tells story of Brittany Thoensen - from tragedy to recovery
When the Sandy High School Dance Team, The Elevations, competes in the state championships this week, the team's performance will overwhelmingly come from the heart.
The state performance comes two years after the fatal car accident that severely injured Sandy High graduate and dancer Brittany Thoensen and killed her boyfriend, Kevin Enderlin. Thoensen was left with a number of serious injuries including five broken ribs, a punctured and collapsed left lung and facial fractures, and she was in a coma 10 days after the accident.
In the two years since the accident, she has made remarkable strides in her recovery and is able to walk and talk.
The dance team will tell Thoensen's story in a dance titled 'Brittany: A Dancer's Journey Home' at the state championships March 16-17 at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Portland.
The dance, which was performed in a dress rehearsal practice in front of a well-attended home crowd at Sandy High School on Monday, tells the story of Thoensen's passion for dance, the accident, the support, the recovery, and finally, the healing.
'One of the things she misses most is dancing,' head coach Charlon Blackmon said. 'We have chosen to be her feet and her heart.'
'The dance is really emotional,' Sandy High junior Natasha Lee, who is a captain of the team, said Monday. 'It means a lot to everyone on the team. We have really worked hard to tell her story.'
'She was a captain of the team,' junior Chelsea Blackmon, who is also a captain, said. 'She has always been really close to the team and really close to the coach. The dance has every emotion; it's kind of a rollercoaster. Hopefully everyone sees that it's about being happy. We love what we are doing, and it comes from the heart.'
After the dress rehearsal performance on Monday, Thoensen and her mother, Tamera Olson, thanked the team for their support in her recovery and handed out gifts to the dance members.
'This means a lot to our family and especially to Brittany,' Olson told the dance team. 'She is truly a walking miracle.'
And while Thoensen has made a remarkable recovery, she isn't done healing yet.
'When I can dance, that is when I am fully recovered,' Thoensen said. 'I am a dancer, and I always will be.'