SAN DIEGO, CA – From ballroom to hip hop, as dancers waltz and twirl across the stage, whatever the style, there’s no denying dance is a visual art. The students at The Blind Dance Company prove there’s more than meets the eye.
Ronald, Kenny, Barbara, Lee, and Olena are learning to dance, but that’s not all they have in common.
“I am completely blind with light perception,” says Blind Dancer Ronald Chisholm.
“I don’t see face faces. I see colors,” Blind Dancer Olena Calderon said.
Blind Dancer Kenny Lee said, “What I see is shadows.”
They are all members of one of the first all blind dance companies.
“Our whole organization is about empowering the lives of the visually impaired, uh, through dance,” said the Founder and Director of Blind Dance Company, Hydeia Muhammad.
Led by a professional Latin ballroom dancer and instructor, Hydeia Muhammad is developing her own methods to teach dancers through touch and sound.
“I try to push the dancers, think outside the box,” Hydeia Muhammad said.
“She’ll stand in front of you, and you can feel her hips to her feet to see what they’re doing,” said Kenny Lee.
“She teaches us spotting techniques that are very helpful,” says Ronald Chisholm.
“She’s extremely patient,” said Chisholm.
With less than two percent of paying dance gigs going to people with disability, Hydeia hopes to change that and motivate others to not lose sight of their dreams.
“It’s showing the world that no matter what happens to you in your life, there’s nothing you can’t do,” Kenny Lee added.
The blind dance company is a 501c-3 and is raising money to help provide the dancers with access to professional instruction, competitions, and festivals. Hydeia is also teaching virtually and now has students nationwide. You can find out more at https://theblinddanceco.org/.
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