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How I Found My Disability Identity Through Dancing

Graduation: A Reflection on why my disability doesn't make me different

I want to say it was a success. It was, but it wasn’t. You see I am a dancer, but a dancer alone is not at all who I am. Through my dancing experience, I became an advocate. It’s not about overcoming my disability; it’s far from that. I never saw my disability as a reason why choreographers wouldn’t choose me or why I shouldn’t take technique classes. I thought if I worked hard enough then I would be selected to be in multiple pieces. I thought I would have an equal opportunity as other dancers.

Free Your Mind From Rejection: Keep Creating

I came to this school expecting choreographers and teachers to see me as an asset as a way to create something no one has ever seen before. I’ve always dreamt of dancing beyond my own imagination. I was able to get a small dosage of that. As I move forward, I want my community to know that you can become an artist. You can be a dancer but know it’s hard because our hearts long to be free. Free from all the worries and what if's. Free from the fear of total rejection. Free from facing the cruel reality of all the injustices you will face. Free from the possibility no one will see your perspective.

I will say go for it anyway because beyond all that we can create a better and more accessible pathway for future generations. We can change people to see us from a different angle. Even if you change one person, know that is like changing the world because you changed someone’s entire world. Keep creating, keep going.

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Dance is the the poetry to my heart as the universe is my escape from reality. I don't see my disability as a reason why choreographers wouldn’t choose me or why I shouldn’t take certain classes.

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Vanessa Cruz

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Paving a New Path: I will dance despite my disability

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How I Found My Disability Identity Through Dancing

I want to say it was a success. It was, but it wasn’t. You see I am a dancer, but a dancer alone is not at all who I am. Through my dancing