Wei Wei, The Dancer
When talking about “disability” and “dance”, would the first thing coming to your mind be the graceful figure of Tai Lihua, the famous disabled dancer? 13 year-old Wei Wei who suffered from Down's syndrome dreams to be a dancer too.
Wei Wei grows up in a welfare institution. Ever since she was a child, she showed special interest in dancing and often moved her body with music unconsciously. At the age of 11, she was enrolled into World Vision’s rehabilitation and education subsidy project because of her talent in dance. The project set up a “dance training” plan, aiming to further develop children’s talent and habits, as well as to make career planning for children in welfare institution.
Employment is an important way for people with disabilities to build confidence and integrate into society. Also employment can enable people with disabilities to live independently and participate in social activities, with dignity. However, the issue of employing people with disabilities has been a major problem of the society. On one hand, people with disabilities are often turned down by the employers due to their physical disadvantage. On the other hand, they lack professional skills due to their limited access to professional education. World Vision and the welfare institution hope by joining the training project, these children with disabilities can be well prepared for their future career, so that they can be better included into the society.
After receiving systematic dance training, Wei Wei has made great progress. As her cognitive ability is poorer than others, she insisted to spend more time in dance learning and training. Besides, her dance teacher would adjust training methods according to her situation, for example, to improve her rhythm the teacher designed a rhythm training class for her.
She can dance with standard movement and accurate rhythm after one-year’s learning. Besides, she paid attention to weight control and avoided eating too much. She often says when having meals, “I won’t eat more! Eating too much will make me too fat to dance!” In the past, she only followed the teacher’s movement, but now she can design some dance movements by herself.
In 2016, a small piece of fan solo dance created by Wei Wei became a highlight in Nanning classics reading contest qualification trial. In addition, she led her team members to participate in Guangxi section of the national bodybuilding exercise contest and won the second prize. The contest has enriched Wei Wei’s experience, and the audience’s warm applause has made her become more confident in dancing. She has now become more determined in her dancing dream.
The welfare institution plans to build a professional art group in the future, and Wei Wei is expected to be the chief dancer of the art group.
At the same time, World Vision has further promoted the welfare institution to pay attention to vocational training of 10-18 aged youth with mild level of disability. Under the guidance of the project, in September 2016, the welfare institution has launched a vocational education class which aims to enhance children’s social skills and self-care abilities. The class covers fields such as vocational skills, life adaptation, domestic life, daily arithmetic operation and so on. So far there are 15 children in the class and the welfare institution will include more children in it.
Written by: Zhenyan Lu