That Deaf Dancer…

Dancing has saved my life. Period. I had been dancing for nearly 23 years. From that tiny basement to professional level. Yah, professional! That’s when it all finally paid off. Go me!

Why, you say? Well duh. Growing up was not always easy. Countless days of bullying and taunting allowed me to be free in a dance classroom. Also allowed freedom of expression and interactions with fellow dancers. The thing is, I didn’t really have a voice at such a young age and had a hard time defending myself. When young kids see your hearing aids, take it from me, they’re cruel as hell.

I had a voice in the dance world. Countless hours dancing and going to dance workshops, classes by top name dance professionals before they became big today, trips to NYC to attend dance classes at Broadway Dance Center, huge dance conventions such as JUMP, Shake The Floor, etc. I attended a performing arts high school, even started out as a dance major in college and participated in a pom squad. With a minor change in my career choice when the economy dropped, I decided to try out for the Baltimore Ravens at the time. Which also led MTV to follow me and do a story. If you ever feel so inclined to, google it, I’m sure it’s on YouTube as well. And no, I don’t watch it. Seriously.

While finishing up my degree, I was also fortunate to join the Baltimore Blast Cheerleading Squad which encouraged me to try out for the Philadelphia Eagles Cheerleaders upon graduation. What a freaking fun ride. I went into the audition with no clue what I was getting myself into. I’ve met some amazing ladies who I still talk to this day. I got the experience of my life that I would’ve never imagined. I still look back and remember the chills I get when the fighter jets fly over the stadium during the national anthem or performing to the Eagles Fight Song. Goosebumps man.

But dude! Let’s rewind. That was a tough audition. The most nerve racking part of it was the live stage interview. Also! It was live on the internet too. Could you believe that? Me? That deaf girl has to ask for help? My god. There’s a panel of 10 judges in front of you and when your turn was up, they randomly pick a question and you have to answer it as best as you can. Hell no. Have you heard my alien voice? And it’s dark as hell. So dark you can’t even read their lips! What if it was a former NFL player mumbling something and you’re forced to ask him to repeat it multiple times? What was I supposed to do? Seriously, just save me the agony and just let me do what I do best. Dance and strut across the floor in my bikini ok? Please please?

Fortunately, I got my shit together and talked to the director about my situation. Now, if you know me, I flipping HATE asking for help. Like why does this have to be so damn HARD and yet it was something I needed to do. She was kind enough to let me in on a few questions. Yup the secrets out. If they couldn’t help me out especially after making it this far along, then BYE Felicia! Not worth the embarrassments and sacrifices I had to make which included missing exams, skipping classes and traveling 4 hr round trips from school to attend all this hard earned work that could possibly never happen. Hey, I was not going to let this opportunity go. (Cue Eminem rap) One thing I learned from my mother is perseverance is key.

perseverance: steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, etc., especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement. 

http://www.dictionary.com

To get what you strive, eat, sleep and breath for, you’re going to do EVERYTHING you can to make this happen. Looking back, this accommodation was so MINOR, man. It can be so embarrassing especially when you’re about to be part of a major NFL organization.

It’s finals night. (Not the exams stoopid). I do my thing, telling myself, no one gives a shit if you don’t make it or not. (Truth is, I had a ton of people behind me on this. So thank you. You all know who you are. Especially you MOM!) Finally, the next day my number was called and it hit me that all these years of sweat, tears, hard work finally paid off. F yes! My mother knew I could do this and because of her, none of this would’ve happened. I followed my dreams. Basically. I’ve experienced so many rejections and this was now my moment to shine….

Time to wrap this up. We’re heading up to the mountain to enjoy a conjoined bachelor/bachelorette weekend! 🙂

Oh yeah and Go Eagles!

#TheNewIconsGrant

I submitted a video as an application for a grant to pay off my student loans from Wear Figs. Best of luck to everyone who applied!

34

For the last two years, I would share wisdom I’ve learned on my birthday. ( Link to past wisdom 33 & 32 )

2020 has been a roller coaster. I simply have no words for it. It’s taught me more patience and grace than the last two years.

This year, we welcomed a beautiful baby girl, lived nearly the first two months of 2020 in the hospital, and a pandemic happened as soon as we came home.

I’m continuously and constantly grateful for the little blessings. I’m sharing some old and new wisdom this year.

  1. Make room in your heart for the unimaginable. Always believe in miracles.
  2. Do what scares you and push yourself outside of the box.
  3. Have a grateful heart. Life is too short and precious to take things for granted.
  4. There’s always a silver lining. See it through.
  5. It’s okay to be vulnerable. This year has it’s challenges.
  6. Take pictures. Always. Be notorious for random ones. They’re the best.
  7. Never stress on the tiniest stuff. Let it go and see what kind of magic returns in its place.
  8. Keep a gift of wisdom behind you and seek the meaning to everything.
  9. Don’t give up on your dreams just because you are a mom. Let that be your motivation.
  10. Do take care of your mental health.
  11. If someone tells you you’ve changed, celebrate it and keep going.
  12. Keep exploring and see what the world has to offer. While this might be on hold for a while, more research and saving for us!
  13. Keep your vision board in sight.
  14. Technology is amazing. Keep in touch with your friends and family near and far. Always keep them close to your heart.
  15. Do take social media breaks. In fact, take several.
  16. Be passionate about something bigger than yourself. It inspires growth.
  17. Know that there is always light out of the darkness. Whatever rock bottom you hit, the top is just waiting for you to shine. When the time is right.
  18. I truly believe everything happens for a reason. It will always work out because it’s meant to be. When it doesn’t, know that there’s always something bigger for you, just need to close the door for the next one to open.
  19. Always remind yourself how far you’ve come. Be proud of the fact that you’re taking the path that was paved for you.
  20. Please floss. Daily.
  21. Never let grief take over and always choose hope.
  22. Let mean people be mean. Life has a way of bringing them into your life to challenge you and make you a better person out of it.
  23. Always trust your dog when it doesn’t like a person. For real.
  24. Kindness always goes a long way. Treat others how you would want to be treated.
  25. Don’t let your disability define who you are as a person – Even though it may seem like denying the power and overwhelming significance of the experiences in my life, you’re not insulting yourself, not weak, not asking for sympathy. You’re you. See the person first, disability second.
  26. Aspire to inspire others. Whether it’s sharing your story or smiling for no reason.
  27. Trust your gut.
  28. Remember the way people treat you is a statement about who they are as a human being. Refer to #22.
  29. Be picky about vibes and energy you surround yourself with. You owe yourself that much.
  30. Sarcasm and cursing is always okay in my book. Keep being you.
  31. Keep smiling. I mean it. It’s always a good day when you see others smile.
  32. You are not required to house someone else’s feelings. Take it easy on yourself.
  33. Always love and love hard.
  34. Be thankful for roadblocks. Some things are just not meant to be.