by DeAnna Pursai
We use this phrase often at the College of Adaptive Arts, in our mission, our vision, our mottos in reference to our dynamic student body and professors and staff. This past week we’ve had our first amazing dance video go viral, and it truly represents the essence of what it means to CAA to empower our Student Body to be Successful Contributing Citizens through the Arts. This particular student dancer wore her very own red dress (all the other student dancers were in black), and performed her own choreography to a piece that she self-selected. It was the Spring Recital Night of our Graduate Dance Clinic of student dancers, choreographers, and budding dance instructors.
This student’s joy of dance and artistic expression is sincerely palpable and infectious. She was sincerely and truly in her element, dancing with conviction, eloquence, and sheer joy. One of the beautiful back stories is that her father was in the audience, and it is a rare treat when he can get off work and enjoy his daughter’s performance. The saying above the dance mirror states ‘To Watch Us Dance is to Hear Our Hearts Speak’ (Hopi Native American saying). In this dancer’s instance, her heart spoke with such sincere conviction and has touched so many hearts in the afterglow.
These dancers, all adults with disabilities, make such exquisite contributions to our College each and every time they step through the CAA doors to continue to grow, learn, share, and perform. They have such rich stories to tell through their dance moves, their poetry, their paintbrushes, their cameras, their musical instruments. It is such a compelling story that makes everyone around them feel more alive and vibrant. When I’m with the students at the College of Adaptive Arts, I become recalibrated each time as to what is really important and meaningful in the overall realm of life.
Another beautiful backstory I’d like to share is that this video that went viral was videotaped, edited, and uploaded as well by a CAA Professor who is also an adult with a differing ability. Many of our staff have struggled in a typical workforce environment. At the College of Adaptive Arts, we are creating a safe, joyful and creative space for our professors and staff to also flourish and thrive in their authentic gifts and abilities....