Ashlynn Poworoznyk loves dance so much; she didn’t even stop going to class when she broke her back.

In October, she fractured one of the vertebrae in her back, which would prevent her from dancing for about six to eight weeks.

“I knew that the easy way was to quit, but I didn’t want to do that and thought instead I would set a good example for those who look up to me,” says the 15-year-old Grade 10 George McDougall High School student.

“I showed up to class for myself and my team every day. I would continue to go to class and bring my notebook and take notes on everything new that was taught so that when I could return back to dancing, I would be up to speed with everything.”

Poworoznyk says she has been dancing in a number of styles for 12 years and before her injury, she put in about 20 hours a week at Elements Dance Company.

“I love dance for so many reasons. It’s an escape from reality, especially in times like these. It clears my head of any stress that I have, it allows me to express myself, and let out any cooped-up feelings,” she says.

“It also keeps me physically active, significantly improves my mental health, and overall is just my happy place.”

Stephanie Staniforth has been Poworoznyk’s dance teacher for the past four years and nominated her for the Amazing Promise Award.

“Ashlynn deserves this award because of her unparalleled work ethic, perseverance and positive attitude,” she says.

“Ashlynn consistently demonstrates her exceptional promise through all the things she does, big and small, and in between.”