“We Are More Than Our Disabilities,” the Story About an Extraordinary Girl Who Became a Ballerina Against All Odds
Sometimes we get easily discouraged and feel powerless when encountering difficulties. That’s the perfect time to look within ourselves to find courage and determination. And luckily, there are some extraordinary people out here to remind us that we can do much more than we think. These incredible real-life heroes are pushing boundaries, proving that anything is possible.
Bright Side brings you the story of Vitoria Bueno, a young ballerina who is not giving up on her dream despite challenges that for most people would be insurmountable.
Vitória was born with a rare genetic condition.
Vitória, now 18, was born in the small town of Santa Rita Do Sapucai, Brazil. Her rare genetic condition left her without arms, but it did not stop this strong-spirited girl from chasing her dream of becoming a poised, graceful ballerina.
She showed interest in dance from a very young age.
Her condition made growing up in a small town challenging sometimes: ’’People would line up outside the house to see her,’’ said her mother Wanda, recalling the hard times. Given the circumstances, Vitória’s dream of being a dancer seemed unrealistic at first, but luckily, the little girl didn’t give up easily.
Vitória’s mother was worried about her fitting in.
She started taking lessons at the age of 5, at her physiotherapist’s suggestion. But when her mother first took her to a ballet class, she worried about whether her daughter would be accepted by her peers. People in her hometown got even more curious when she enrolled in dance school.
But her talent left people in awe.
Instead of discouraging her, that’s what ultimately made her famous. Seeing her gracefully do complex dance moves left everyone mesmerized. Vitória then started posting pictures and videos to her Instagram and has been inspiring the world ever since.
’’Arms are just a detail for me.’’
Watching Vitória on stage, completely immersed in dance and perfectly synchronized with her colleagues, makes it easy to forget about her disability: “For me, arms, they’re just a detail. I follow with my eyes, as if they were there,” she explains.
She took jazz and tap dance lessons as well.
Bueno is not only a student of classic ballet at the academy in her hometown, but she also started jazz and tap dance lessons. She even won competitions for a dance school and placed 2nd in the talent contest.
Her story attracted some major names in the world of ballet.
Vitória even has a celebrity dance teacher, Thiago Soares, the leading performer in major ballet companies. He reached out to her on Instagram and asked her to attend his private lessons. Soares teaches choreography he created especially for Vitória. She admits that meeting and working with him has been the ’’realization of her dreams.’’
’’We are more than our disabilities, so we have to chase our dreams.’’
Vitória’s example gives hope to people in similar circumstances and her words are equally encouraging: ’’We are more than our disabilities, so we have to chase our dreams,’’ she said. However, despite being capable of performing as well as any other dancer, the professional ballet companies Vitória would love to work with still don’t hire ballerinas with disabilities. But she believes the world of ballet should be more inclusive.
Dancing makes her feel strongly connected with her body.
When asked about what dancing means to her, the young ballerina says: ’’I feel a very strong connection with my body when I’m dancing. Whether it’s ballet, jazz, or tap dance, I’m completely in the moment, as if nothing else matters.’’
She is able to do her daily chores easily with just her feet.
Apart from enabling her to express herself artistically, dancing was also a great way for Vitória to become self-reliant, develop flexibility, and gain strength. She is able to do everyday chores, from brushing her teeth, tying her shoelaces, doing her makeup, and going shopping, effortlessly with just her feet.
’’I have always done everything using my feet since I was small. It was only as I grew up that I realized I didn’t have arms,’’ Vitória explains.
She is blessed to have supportive people around her.
In addition to her zest for life and strong spirit, Vitória is lucky to be surrounded by loving family, friends, and teachers. She credits all the caring people in her life for not letting her give up: ’’What made me not to give up was the people who are always by my side and supported me when I decided I wanted to dance,’’ she says. She hopes to get into college, keep dancing, and inspire people from all over the world.
Do you agree that sheer determination and willpower can move mountains? Who is the most admirable person in your life?