Shan has always dreamed of dancing since they were little, even when it wasn’t possible for them. As someone diagnosed with the chronic pain disorder Fibromyalgia at a young age, Shan was told that they wouldn’t be able to do much physically as they got older. But as they started to dance, Shan learned that with the help of determination and their community, nothing could hold them back.
For Uproxx’s New Normalists series presented by Instagram, Shan explains how their love for dance has helped them stay more in touch with themselves. Through mastering different choreography, Shan started to become more connected with their body and with what dance meant to their efforts to live with Fibromyalgia. “I feel so much and I feel so intensely and I think dance was the only thing that I could utilize to get that energy and anger and sadness out because it would have destroyed me otherwise quite honestly,” they said.
While they have to spend more time warming up before practicing a routine, Shan has come to understand that dance is more than simply moving your body — it’s about “healing and bringing people together.” Shan stays connected to the dance world through Instagram. By sharing their routines and connecting with other disabled dancers on the platform, Shan continues to stay inspired spread awareness about the importance of accessibility. “Accessibility is really important in discussing ableism in dance and how accessibility looks different for every single person,” they said. “You don’t have to be a professional dancer and go to crazy classes and do all these moves. Everyone functions differently and can bring different things to the table.”
Watch Shan share their passion for dance above and find more of Uproxx’s New Normalists series here.