| 9.9°C Dublin

'I didn't let scoliosis ruin my dream' - Andrews



Ryan Andrews and dance partner Giulia Gotta

Ryan Andrews and dance partner Giulia Gotta

Ryan Andrews and dance partner Giulia Gotta

'Fair City' actor Ryan Andrews has told how opening up for the first time about his scoliosis diagnosis has been a healing experience for him.

He was diagnosed with the condition - a curvature of the spine - when he was 14 and went through a tough time when it came to pursuing his acting dream.

Andrews (26) said he was left reeling after being told by a coach that his posture would hold him back.

"They looked at me and said I would never have that confidence, I would never look like a performer, I would never stand on a stage, that an audience would never look at me," he said.

"It was in an acting workshop. We were doing movement... and it was all about how you hold yourself.

"It was basic stagecraft and I couldn't do it. They [the coaches] were like, 'if you can't stand up, you can't present yourself, what are you doing here?' I took it as a joke at the time.

"My Mam and Dad didn't even know that story. You have this in you and you don't tell anyone."

However, he worked hard to make sure his condition didn't hold him back.

"I was told to go to the gym and strengthen up my back because they didn't know how it was going to grow.

"They couldn't foresee the movement because I was very small as a child and then I had a growth spurt," he said.

Andrews, who is currently appearing in RTÉ's 'Dancing with the Stars', spoke about his struggle on Sunday. He has been praised by judge Brian Redmond for his "perfect posture".

"Whatever happens in this competition, I'm good now, I've found my journey, I've found the reason I'm doing this show, so if I were to go out next week I'd be very comfortable with that. I'm doing it for me now."

Irish Independent