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July 12, 2004

Deaf Dance instructor makes a difference

From: News 9 San Antonio, TX - Jul 12, 2004

By: Alisa Armijo

Being deaf or hearing-impaired is an isolating experience. Toss being a teenager into the mix, and the world gets even smaller, but one local woman has changed the lives of dozens of young deaf people, through an unexpected media: music.

At the Deaf Dance Company it looks like practice as usual, but it is a routine that would not be possible if weren't for Carol Ann Brodersen.

Brodersen started the Deaf Dance Company eight years ago and said it has gotten bigger every year.

Every summer for three weeks, she gathers dancers for a crash course in dance, interaction and self-esteem. The key, she said, is role modeling.

"Years ago if you had asked them "have you ever met a deaf adult?" they'd say 'no'. So they thought, it was just like you finished high school and then? It was like a black hole," Brodersen said.

"Oh yeah, I was so interested in it, and also I made a lot of friends. It's a way for me to express myself, to the world and other people," Sachiko Flores said.

So far, Brodersen's idea seems to be working.

"The neatest thing is before I came we had almost no kids go to college at all, now we have almost 100 percent go to a college program," she said.

Brodersen's program gives deaf kids a chance to meet new people and gives them a self esteem, making her an everyday hero.

Copyright ©2004 San Antonio News Channel, L.L.C. d.b.a. News 9 San Antonio. All Rights Reserved.