Creative City – Kerry Thompson

Creative City – Kerry Thompson


[MUSIC PLAYING] Kerry Thompson from Silent
Rhythms Dance is here. So if you or you
know if someone who is hard of hearing,
deaf or blind, let them know that they can
come to salsa in the park, and learn with Kerry. I want to demonstrate
how to guide someone who is visually impaired,
whether on the floor, or just out on the sidewalk. My name is Kerry
Thompson, and my name is Kerry, a K by the mouth. And the name of the organization
I founded is Silent Rhythm. And the sign for that
is Silent Rhythm. I don’t think there are enough
words that can accurately describe what they
dancing is for me. And a love, it’s a passion. It’s a cause. It’s also been a
form of therapy, because at the same
time I moved to Boston, I was also losing more
and more of my eyesight. I was starting to feel
like I was retreating back into isolation. And dancing was a
way to pull me out, to do something
that I really loved, but to help me stay a
part of the community. I apply for the New England
Foundation for the Arts Creative City grant,
because I was thinking about other people who are
deaf, blind, like myself, or have other
extreme challenges, and how the dance
can help us cope. My title of the
project is, movement to move the marginalized
from the margins. One man that I’m thinking
about, his name is Randy. He’s one of my best
dance students, actually. He’s been so focused
and committed to the art of dancing. Randy has Usher’s
syndrome, the same as me. He came to my first
class four years ago, and he’s seemed overwhelmed. And now he’s extremely confident
on and off the dance floor. What we’re going to do is
demonstrate the proper way to guide somebody who is blind. I can’t teach you
what it’s like to be a person with a disability. I can try to help
you understand it. So how do I get people to care? You find a commonality, and for
me that commonality was art. You create this way of
a dialogue that doesn’t have to be about disability. It’s just about the art. You guys are going to get
a fabulous demonstration from this amazing dancer. It’s so important that
people with disabilities have the opportunity to be
at the front and center, not just learning the
art, but teaching the art. [MUSIC PLAYING]

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