Dancer Takes Back the Stage

By Jodi Hernandez
|  Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010  |  Updated 9:52 AM PDT
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<a title=Eddie Stegge is back on the dance floor, more than three months after a brutal beating. Colleagues at the Diablo Ballet are thrilled at his return." />

Jodi Hernandez

Eddie Stegge is back on the dance floor, more than three months after a brutal beating. Colleagues at the Diablo Ballet are thrilled at his return.

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Concord's Eddie Stegge is back on the dance floor after surviving a brutal attack that nearly ended his life.

The professional Diablo Ballet dancer was beaten and robbed in Concord by two men last October as he walked home from the store.

"They beat me over the head with a baseball bat and crushed my head in two places," said Stegge. "It was crushed so much they had to pick pieces of bone out of my brain.

Stegge's friends didn't know if he'd survive, much less dance again.

"He was in the intensive care unit with breathing tubes," recalls Diablo Ballet Director Lauren Jonas, "and they couldn't tell us what would happen." 

After undergoing brain surgery and enduring more than three months of therapy, Stegge is back at work and preparing to grace the stage in a comeback performance later this month.

"Just walking into the studio and having him back is amazing. It's really a miracle." said Jonas. "When he's dancing you can feel the love of dance that he exudes. You can feel it by just watching him."

But Stegge's kind, gentle nature isn't just evident in his art. His attitude toward his attackers is one of compassion.

"I don't want to judge them because I can't compare my experience in life to what their's may be," said Stegge. 

As the two suspected attackers attend their preliminary hearing this week, Stegge's trying to put the ordeal behind him.

"I'm trying not to think about what could have happened and just focus on where I'm at right now," said Stegge, who now has a titanium plate protecting his skull.  "It feels great to be back."

Stegge will perform with the Diablo Ballet Feb. 26 and 28 at the Shadelands Arts Center in Walnut Creek.

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