Everyone Feels the Beat
By Davidshka Shavers
April 5, 2009
Everyone Feels the Beat
Dancing has been a passion of mine for many years. I love to dance. I belong
to two dance companies, the Automatic Legendz (ALZ) and the New Direction
Christian center (NDCC) Praise dance team. Both dance teams have two very
different styles of dance. ALZ dance company focus on Hip hop and modern
dance moves to where NDCC is more lyrical praise and worship to God. I have
been with both companies' for more than four years.
Through out my years of dancing I always thought that the hearing impaired
community does not dance, simply because they cannot hear the music. I have
come to realize that this is just a common stereotype of the hearing
impaired, and that the only difference between the hearing and the hearing
impaired is simply the fact that one cannot hear.
There are two famous dance shows, "Americas Best Dance Crew" and "Dancing
with the Stars" that have both helped me to realize that someone should not
be underestimated just because they have a disability. The hearing impaired
dancers who have appeared on these shows serve an example for anyone who may
have been under the same impression that I was in thinking that the deaf
community didn't or couldn't dance.
"Americas Best Dance Crew" is a reality Television show on MTV where dance
groups from all over the United States compete for a $100,000 prize. This
Dance show was produced by American Idol judge Randy Jackson. On this show's
second season a dance group by the name of A.S.I.I.D (And so it was Done)
made its premiere with a hearing impaired dance member, Joey Antonio. He was
born with this disability and "started dancing as a little kid, when he saw
his parents doing line dancing and immediately jumped in to join the fun"
says ABDC Insider. Joey is a very talented dancer and he has set high
standards for those who are hearing within the dance community. The way he
dances is like he hears the music. His movements are all on key. Its amazing
how this guy dances.
He showed not only me, but America that the hearings impaired are no
different than the hearing. You do not necessarily have to hear the music in
order to feel the music. People who cannot hear are able to dance because
they rely heavily on their other senses such as rhythm, touch and sight.
"The issue is not so much that we are deaf dancers, but that we are dancers
just like any other dancer," said Sheridan, (James). Along with hip hop
dancer Joey Antonio is Oscar-winning actress Marlee Matlin.
Marlee Matlin is also hearing impaired and made her appearance on ABC's
Television show "Dancing with the Stars." She "became deaf in infancy due to
Roseola Infantum. However, deafness has not disabled her or her career"
(Famous People with Disabilities). She can not only dance but she is an
actress and also a comedian. "Matlin's selection is a breakthrough for the
hearing impaired, who say they are more often stigmatized by misconceptions
than by their own limitations" (James).
People often underestimate individuals with hearing disabilities.
Individuals like Matlin and Antonio serve as prime examples of people with
hearing disabilities. They have taken the stage and opened the eyes of many
ignorant people. By them showing the world their talents they have help to
do away with many of the common false stereotypes surrounding the often
underrepresented deaf community.
ABDC Insider. July 2,2008, A.S.I.I.D.'s Joey: Proving The World Wrong
FAMOUS PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES
JAMES DONALDSON SUSAN. Feb. 19, 2008. Marlee Matlin Shows How Deaf World
'Hears' Music, Deaf Actress to 'Dance With the Stars' http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/Oscars2008/Story?id=4250746&page=2