Inspiring Women Spring 2018

inspiringwomen.editor

Fitness can be fun. Many believe it must be painful to be fit or that you can’t have fun. I believe

dance mixed with exercise in programs like Zumba can be a great way to stay active and reap

the benefits of being fit.

You never know what people come into a room with. Some may have a disability, be sad about

something, etc. As an instructor, I have the responsibility to make sure everyone feels included

and to put a smile on their face, if only for a moment.

GETTING TO KNOW ALICIA

Tell us about an event in your life that made a

big difference and why it did. One year I tried

out for the cheerleading team and did not

make it. You see, I was awkward! I was born

with a disability. Nystagmus is a vision

condition in which the eyes make repetitive,

uncontrolled movements. (My eyes dance

too!) These movements often result in

reduced vision and depth perception and

can affect balance and coordination.

Doctors didn’t know much about it when I

was young. They say that low vision is the most

difficult disability for people to understand

because you look so normal. Teachers did not

understand that I couldn’t see, even with

glasses on. Glasses corrected the stigmatism,

but nystagmus could not be corrected.

So you had this skinny, light-skinned girl whose

eyes danced. My head was always slanted to

the side because that is how I focused. It’s

called the “null point.” My eyes slow down

when I tilt my head.

What personal motto do you live by and how

does it affect what you do/don’t do? ”Be the

artist of your life. With every experience, you

alone are painting your own canvas, thought

by thought, choice by choice." Oprah

Tell us something interesting about yourself

that not many people know. I had the

opportunity to dance in a Disneyland parade

– that was a dream come true.

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