A BRADFORD dancer fulfilling her childhood dream has told how a freak injury poses a threat to her future career on the stage.

Performing arts student Bethany Nichols was practicing for her role as Wednesday Adams in an upcoming show when her knee "went in the opposite direction".

Following an urgent A&E visit and 15 week wait for a scan, her consultant revealed that she would need ligament reconstruction surgery which, due to Covid-19, has a minimum 52 week wait.

With added recovery time, this means Bethany could be out of dance for at least 18 months - a gap in training that is the equivalent of a "lifetime" for a dancer.

The former elev8dance student from Eccleshill said: "I just live and breathe dance. It's just my world. Everything I do revolves around dance. You don't have a social life when you are a dancer. I'd eventually like to be in West End shows. I absolutely love Hairspray and I'd love to play Penny.

"My mum said as soon as I could walk I was dancing up the aisles in supermarkets. It's everything. It's heartbreaking at the moment for me as I'm getting up and watching everyone on Zoom and joining in when I can only my arms. I just start to think, I want to do that. Dance is just everything for me.

"I was in a dancing class doing a certain move and my knee just went in the opposite direction. There was a loud popping sound.

"It could be a year and a half and a year and a half - I don't know where I'm going to be. Everyday you don't dance you're losing flexibility, skills. I love ballet, ballet's my favourite of all the dances. I can't do any of the ballet really. The thought of not being able to dance for18 months is unbearable.

"If you don't dance for a year that's like a lifetime.

"I can already see the impact it's having on my body and mentally as well. You're watching everybody around you. They're such a supportive group. The teachers have been amazing. But I just want to dance."

Her younger sister, Lucy, set up a GoFundMe page to raise funds for a private operation with some services cutting down the wait time to just four weeks.

Bethany added: "If I could have the opportunity I could be ready to start back in September when the new term starts.

"It's more a case of having the money. My mum's a single mum, I have an autistic sister so my mum's a carer for her. We have no means of looking at that opportunity.

"I'm just so grateful for every penny as it just means the world to me if I can get back up and dancing as soon as I can.

Lucy said: "I can't wait to see the smile back on my sisters face and see her back up on the stage doing what she loves."

You can donate to the fund via https://bit.ly/3j82xGx