Local dancer returns to stage after being shot last year

KIRKWOOD, Mo. – Her story has inspired people around the country. Rain Stippec has fought hard to recover from injuries she suffered after she was shot multiple times. She was nervous and excited as she returned to the dance stage for the first time since she was shot in Soulard in February 2017.

Stippec returned as a dancer in EKHO Entertainment’s production of "A Timeless Tradition" at the Robert G. Reim Theatre in Kirkwood Friday.

“I was standing backstage waiting in the wings for my cue and I was just like, I remember this. I remember this feeling. I know what this is like. It’s familiar. This is what I’m supposed to do,” she said.

The return to the dance stage has not been easy. She’s undergone multiple surgeries and continues with physical therapy.

“My left leg is still numb from about thigh to ankle so that poses a little bit of a problem in the dancing world, but I make due,” she said. “It’s a lot of adjusting and things like that but I’m still moving forward. I’m not stuck still. I’m not on a plateau. I’m continually going up the mountain.”

Stippec has been moved by how many people have contacted her to say she’s inspired them. She is also grateful for support from the St. Louis community and beyond. She said EKHO Entertainment founder, producer, and artistic director Trina Sindelar helped push her to return.

“The community here in St. Louis all banded together during her struggles of surgeries and also to see her come back and be able to do something she loves so much and the thing that gave her that strength is just incredible,” said Sindelar.

The performance was dedicated to beloved performer Jesse Mullins, who died at the age of 26.

Performer Miki Cunningham was excited to be part of an inspiring night.

“I am so excited,” she said. “I’ve been wanting to do musical theater all my life and now I get to do this.”

All proceeds from the performance went to Crisis Aid International, an organization that helps protect victims of human trafficking.

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