Although ballet is often viewed as something elegant and feminine, many people don’t quite realize just how taxing performance art is on the body.
Throughout its entire history, the act of literally bleeding for your art was – and still is, frankly speaking – considered to be perfectly normal.
Just look at the old shoes of ballet dancers who are learning to dance en-pointe – many of them have seen blood, and some of them have been soaked in it.
So when 15-year-old Julia Carlile developed scoliosis at the age of 6, it was essentially a death sentence for her career as a ballet dancer.
This is because scoliosis (a condition where the spine curves sideways) is sometimes a progressive medical condition that puts unnecessary stress on the body.
Bearing in mind that ballet puts an incredible amount of strain on the body as it is – there was no way Carlile could keep dancing as her condition worsened.
But the teenager was determined and fought against the odds to join a group of dancers called the MerseyGirls.
Together, the MerseyGirls joined Britain’s Got Talent as a group in hopes of being able to nab the winning prize money of $300,000, or £250,000.
This isn’t too out of the ordinary – after all, plenty of people are after the fame and fortune that winning the talent show gives.
These teens had a nobler cause, however – they were hoping to save Carlile’s dancing career by funding her expensive surgery, necessary to correct the curvature of the spine and to permanently stop the curve from progressing.
On the show stage, these fierce competitors proved themselves incredibly and undeniably talented.
In fact, they were so good, these dancers managed to wow the judges and nab the Golden Buzzer of the season, which catapult themselves straight into the live semi-finals!
There, they proved themselves no slouches and fought their way into the final round, with Carlile pulling her weight by cartwheeling and back-flipping along with the best of them.
She really poured her heart and soul into that performance – understandable, since it was likely the last one she may ever have before her surgery.
Alas, despite wowing just about everyone with their honed skills and their amazing performances, the MersyGirls found themselves in a heartbreaking situation – they were in 9th place, which meant no money for Carlile.
All thought this was it – their Hail Mary pass had failed, and this was now the end of Carlile’s dancing career. But then, a miracle occurred.
Simon Cowell is a judge on both American and British versions of the talent show and is infamous for being notoriously hard to please.
However, this doesn’t mean that he was without a shred of humanity.
After the show was over, Cowell went backstage to meet the dancers, where he delivered the most incredible news they have ever heard yet – he was going to pay for Carlile’s surgery, every cent.
As it turned out, after listening to Carlile’s story, Cowell had quietly decided that he was going to help the teenager, regardless of the results.
While he has warned people that he isn’t planning on doing this often, it is still a relief that this story, with its rollercoaster of emotions, had a happy ending!