For Sharron Miller, a life-long dancer, moving is as essential as breathing.
Having pirouetted and jetéd across stages from the time she was eight-years-old, Sharron revels in the power and strength of her lithe body. After a celebrated dance career, which included serving as a principal dancer for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre and seven Broadway roles, Sharron, at the age of 51, opened the Sharron Miller’s Academy for the Performing Arts, a program that teaches dance, voice, and drama to students of all ages. There she delighted in bringing her lifelong love to very young dancers with dreams of stage careers or to adult students enjoying movement classes for the very first time.
Four years after opening the school, pain in Sharron’s groin and left side began to impact her ability to teach. “I had never suffered from pain during my professional career,” she recalls. Initially she sought relief through alternative medicine, including acupuncture, chiropractic care and food supplements. “I had grown up with an alternative approach, so I was more comfortable with these methods,” explains Sharron. These practices brought some relief initially, but as time went on, her condition deteriorated.
“My left side felt old, I wasn’t sure what my left leg would do.” Sharron, who always relied on her ability to leap across a stage, was worried that her leg would give out as she ran to catch a bus.
Eventually, Sharron found her way to the Hospital Special Surgery where she met with Bryan J. Nestor, MD, a surgeon who had recently performed a successful hip replacement on her accountant. “Dr. Nestor told me that because I was in good physical shape, I was a likely candidate for a hip replacement and had good prospects for an excellent and rapid recovery.”
In August of 2006, Sharron underwent the surgery. Two days later, she walked down the hall with the aid of a walker; by the third, she had mastered getting up and down stairs; on day four, she went home, where within ten more days she was outside walking up and down her street. Eight weeks post surgery, Sharron returned to teaching and has been on the move ever since.
“When my hip problems began to interfere with my ability to move and teach, I thought, ‘This is what it means to get old.’ Part of me accepted that. My entire life has been dance and that element was being taken away," says Sharron. "The surgery gave me back my life and my joy.”