Deaf Nigerian dancers defying stereotypes, proving that deaf can dance

Stephen Nartey August 17, 2023
Image via YouTube/Reuters

In Nigeria, public performances featuring deaf artists are uncommon due to a lack of opportunities for people with disabilities to engage in cultural and artistic events.

But, deaf amateur dancer Omowunmi Otunuyi and her friends are challenging this misconception. Whenever the opportunity presents itself, they do not cease to captivate their audience. In a recent performance in Ibadan, they enthralled spectators and held them spellbound. The show aimed to challenge stereotypes surrounding deafness.

Despite losing her hearing at a young age, 20-year-old Otunuyi found joy in watching music videos and imitating dancers on TV. Now, she’s a member of a dance troupe that is challenging perceptions by showcasing the dancing abilities of the deaf. She is confident in her innate dancing talent and is determined to achieve success with her team, aiming to make her parents proud in the process.

Using sign language, Otunuyi expressed her happiness about showcasing their abilities and making the performance a reality, according to Reuters. Deaf dancer Otunuyi discovered dance through Coach Samuel James, who established the Seams Deaf-Pro Foundation. This initiative aims to provide deaf performers with chances to succeed in the field of dance and to challenge societal biases against them.

People often question their ability to work with songs and sounds, but the group is determined to prove their capabilities. Coach James and his dance group, including Otunuyi, strive to challenge societal misconceptions and biases toward deaf individuals through their performances.

They are committed to helping the dancers master rhythm and flow through intensive training, aiming to dispel doubts about the potential of deaf performers. The group’s ultimate goal is to break down prejudices against deaf individuals and demonstrate that success is attainable in the world of dance.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: August 17, 2023


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