Gates McFadden is an accomplished dancer
Gates McFadden choreographed the dance scene between her and Brent Spiner on the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “Data’s Day.” But before she took on the role of Dr. Beverly Crusher, McFadden [who was credited as Cheryl McFadden] was the Director of Choreography and Puppet Movement on several of Jim Henson’s films, one of which was the very popular movie “Labyrinth” that starred David Bowie and Jennifer Connelly.
And while dancing seems to come naturally to her, McFadden also danced for more than just the fun of dancing. In an interview with ShowBizJunkies, she revealed that she has major scoliosis in her spine, and it was dance that kept her back from curving outward which would have resulted in a hunchback. In fact, had she not danced, the curvature of her spine would have been really noticeable.
Gates McFadden wanted to a ballerina
Though she was able to dance, she couldn’t be a ballerina, and she was always wondering why she wasn’t chosen. She felt that she was good enough to be one, but there are such strict requirements to pursue that career, one of which is flexibility. Even though McFadden participated in gymnastics, her spine still wasn’t as capable of bending well enough to enable her to become a ballerina. And while she had friends that became Rockettes, she couldn’t go in that direction.
"“I was never told by my mother that she knew that, but I was always wondering why I wasn’t selected to be a ballerina because I felt I was really good. The problem was I didn’t have a back that could bend like all the girls’ backs in my class. Even though I did some gymnastics moves and everything, it was much harder for me because my back couldn’t go in that direction. Several of my friends went on to become Rockettes.”"
It couldn’t have been easy watching her friends’ dreams come true and being unable to follow, but McFadden was able to parlay her talent at acting into a career that would last a lifetime. As Dr. Beverly Crusher, McFadden has left a lasting impression on fans around the world.