Click HERE for Michelle’s Bio.
Jessica Cox Chamberlain. Born without arms, Jessica could have succumbed to the low expectations that ushered her into this world. Through all the challenges she faced, she graduated from college, learned to swim, drive a car, surf, scuba dive, fly an airplane, become a Taekwondo State Champion, and live independently using her feet in ways others who take their hands for granted can only imagine. She holds the title of the first person without arms to get a black belt in ATA Martial Arts and the Guinness World Record for the first pilot to fly with her feet. Yet, her greatest triumph in life stands far above any physical feat. It is her unrepentant regard for herself as a whole person, her high degree of self- acceptance that gives her the freedom and power to insist that society accepts her, too, just as she is. In 2013, Jessica became a Goodwill Ambassador for Humanity & Inclusion, a Nobel Peace Prize winning NGO and has advocated for disability rights in Ethiopia, the Philippines, Nepal, and the US Senate. As a person who has never viewed herself as a victim of her condition, Jessica is a motivational speaker who shares her stories of struggle and success living in a “two-handed” world. She provides critical insight on how best to approach a challenge, redefining the concept of innovative thinking. Jessica believes that in combining creativity, desire, persistence, and fearlessness, nothing is impossible. She teamed up with Emmy-Award-winning filmmaker Nicholas Spark and completed production of a documentary chronicling Jessica’s life, Right Footed (www.rightfootedmovie.com). She now works as a mentor to children with diverse abilities and their families in the USA and abroad, helping them overcome their situations just as her own mentor once helped her. www.jessicacox.com
Julian Dombrowski, born in 1982, is a Tucson-based artist working within multiple disciplines, including Laser Art Technique painting, poetry, creative writing and dance. Growing up with a love for the arts, Julian began drawing and animation as a child and progressed to poetry and science-fiction authorship. He graduated from the University of Arizona with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and received his Master of Arts Degree in Creative Writing through Southern New Hampshire University. Julian has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and has minimal mobility; but this has not prevented him from pursuing his artistic dreams. He is a prolific writer and his first novel, “Zen’s War: Captivity” will be available in hard copy and paperback at Barnes and Noble and Amazon.com in Spring 2019. In 2018, he returned to dance with the premiere of “Life’s Journey,” a spoken word dance piece based upon his original poem. This experience motivated him to continue expanding his artistic voice as he joins the Dancesequences Repertory Company. “Despite my disability l now decided to take up dancing again after many years of not dancing. Many people probably wonder how someone in a wheelchair can dance but trust me it can be done. Being disabled does not mean you cannot do something like dancing for example. It just means you do it in a different way by adapting to your circumstances.”
Click HERE for Sabrina’s Bio.
Veronica Ramirez was raised in Tucson and has been dancing since 5 years old. Through her experience on the dance team of her middle school and as part of the dance program in high school, Veronica honed her skills in Jazz and Modern dance, often performing at various venues in and around Tucson. In college, she began teaching ballet, tap and jazz at multiple after school programs, dance studios and community organizations. For two years, she was also a member of a professional dance troupe based in Phoenix, AZ and danced in many public events, fashion shows and opening acts for several music performers. Upon the completion of her Master Degree in Cross Categorical Special Education, she continued to work within the school system, alternating between counselling and teaching dance. In 2011, she took over a failing toy store and much of her energies were devoted to restoring the business. In 2015, she began teaching at Arts for All Inc., a nonprofit organization that provides art education to children and adults with mixed abilities and co-directed the adult performing ensemble. She has completed a 1-week Mettler-based Teacher Training workshop and works closely with adults of all abilities, sharing her love and passion for dance.
Nanette Robinson, choreographer, educator and dancer, is ZUZI! Dance Co-Founder and Director of Arts Education. She holds a BFA in Dance from Temple University and is a certified instructor of Skinner Releasing. She has traveled internationally teaching and performing and has extensive experience as an aerial dancer and teacher, having worked with Robert Davidson and Terry Sendgraff. Nanette’s choreography has been showcased locally with O-T-O, Zenith Dance Collects, Arts for All, University of Arizona Dance Department, Rich Warmer, “Mythos” Project, NEW ARTiculations, Funhouse Movement Theater, The Tucson Poetry Festival, the ADAA Showcase and the Flagstaff Summer Dance Festival. Nanette has also been teaching at Paolo Freire School, with Mirasol Recovery Treatment Program and ZUZI! School. nanutdancer.com
Amanda K. Rohrbach is a nature and portrait photographer, whose work spans all aspects of the natural world – landscapes, skyscapes of the day and night, animals, insects, and flowers. Her prints have been exhibited at galleries and art shows throughout Tucson, including Tohono Chul Gallery and Bistro and the University of Arizona. She holds a B.S. in Astronomy and Physics from the University of Arizona, and has worked as a Planetarium educator, a telescope operator and research assistant, and an aerospace engineer, serving as a Mission Operations Engineer at Goddard Space Flight Center, for the launch and early orbit of the NASA Fermi Space Telescope. Though she was an avid dancer, singer, and actress throughout childhood and early young adulthood, multiple sclerosis and other health conditions began to gradually rob her of her energy, sight, and physical and mental abilities. Three years ago, she was struggling to simply walk and stand, and she did not think that she would ever be able to dance again. A modification in diet in 2015 changed her direction completely; she is now on a journey of recovery, working hard to heal herself and regain her strength and mobility. She has developed a new appreciation for her body, her health, and the true healing potential of creative movement. In addition to dance, Amanda enjoys hiking, biking, and exploring amazing natural places near her native Tucson and around the country with her three biggest inspirations – her husband and two young sons. She is thrilled to get the opportunity to work and dance with the amazing people of Dancesequences, and she looks forward to helping others tell their story, and “learn to dance in the body they have.” (https://www.facebook.com/AmandaRohrbachPhotography/; http://www.amandarohrbachphotography.com/)
Erin Kaser Romero is a Colorado native who began teaching dance in high school after forming an all abilities class with a local studio and her friend, Denise Allison, who had been creating wheelchair dances together. Erin went on to receive her B.F.A. in Modern Dance at the University of Utah. She is a founding member of Movement Forum Improvisational Dance Company, performing in Salt Lake City from 2003-2015, and eventually taking the role of company director. As an independent choreographer, Erin also created dances and dance films which have received support from the Utah Arts Council, and the Salt Lake City Arts Council. She has had the privilege of performing and presenting her choreography in several states from coast to coast, while at the same time, gaining experience teaching Pilates, and developing a parallel career in life sciences research. She is excited about dancing with this unique group that captures the creativity which originally drew her to keep on dancing.