One of Catriona Gray’s mentors during her Miss Universe training revealed that the beauty queen struggled when she had to execute her signature “lava walk” because of her scoliosis.
Miss Grand International 2016 first runner-up Nicole Cordoves in an interview with “Tonight With Boy Abunda” last Monday shared that the newly-crowned Miss Universe 2018 cried at her first attempts in executing the catwalk.
“Prinaktis po niya ‘yan with Carlos Buendia, Jr. Kuya Caloy, yes. At may scolio (scoliosis) siya Tita Boy, so ‘yung first few practices nila talaga, umiiyak siya, kasi ‘yung posture pa lang na you’re gonna pull yourself like this (gestures) para straight na straight ‘yung body mo and you get the curves, ang hirap para sa kanya,” Cordoves said.
The former beauty queen in her article with a local media outlet noted that it was Buendia who caused Gray to cry in “pain” when the latter was practicing her signature walk.
Buendia is Gray’s choreographer who is also a Bayanihan dancer and a former UST Arki Dance Troupe member.
“It was also to Kuya Caloy that Catriona cried in pain because of her scoliosis that has become her bane during past related trainings,” Cordoves wrote.
In a previous report, Buendia shared that the iconic “lava walk” is executed with three movements—the gliding, the swaying and then the slow turning of the back before fully walking the runway.
The “slow motion” effect is essential because it is the highlight of the “lava walk” which attributes itself to the synchronized movement of how the lava flows from Mount Mayon—a combination of a fast and slow motion.
The movement has spawned memes and comments from Filipinos and non-Filipinos alike. Even supermodel Tyra Banks was impressed by the 24-year-old’s signature walk.
Behind Catriona’s now iconic walk is the struggle to perfect the slow turn at the expense of disregarding her scoliosis, a medical condition where the spine of the body is abnormally curved in an “S” or “C” shape instead of a straight posture.
When Cordoves revealed that Gray had the condition, non-profit organization Scoliosis Philippines shared a congratulatory post dedicated to her, calling her “Philippines’ pride” and a “scoliosis warrior.”
The organization is a scoliosis awareness group that aims to support individuals afflicted with the medical condition and create campaigns and events dedicated to educating and helping the public on scoliosis.
Scoliosis is a spinal condition that is usually caused by cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, spinal injuries and birth defects where an infant’s spinal bones gets affected by a condition or a circumstance inside a womb.
It is diagnosed through a physical exam or a series of imaging tests such as x-rays, an MRI, a CT or a bone scan.
Symptoms of the condition include the following: A shoulder blade being higher than the other or when one shoulder blade “sticks out” more than the other, uneven hips, a rotating spine, back pain and breathing problems.
Scoliosis can be treated through different methods depending on how much the spine is curved in a certain angle. Mild cases are usually treated by physical therapy, proper exercise and regularly maintaining a straight posture.
For individuals having a spine curvature of more than 25 to 30 degrees or between 20 to 29 degrees, physical therapy and braces are recommended.
If the curves are greater than 45 or 50 degrees, surgery is the remaining option.