Model: Vanessa Cruz
Physical disability
Dance artist

Navigating the world as a Disabled Chicana woman has been an exhilarating journey. I am proud of my Mexican indigenous roots, and I am thankful for my ancestors who have guided me through this life. My dance work has allowed me to create worlds that others can resonate with and be the representation that the contemporary dance world needs. My identities have been my power and pride in my dance journey and in life. Just like any journey we take, it has been far from easy – filled with navigating this ableist world – but what gets me through those difficult days is hope that my Disability Justice activism and dance work can change the world for the better. This photo represents my power and my professional dance career.

Excerpt from my dance poem:
“La Lucha Sigue”
Juntos podemos crear el mundo donde
Podemos ser como las estrellas;
Libres y brillantes
Que el universo nos guía al la liberación.

“The Fight Continues”
Together we can create a world Where we can be like the stars;
Free and shining brightly
May the universe guide us to our liberation.


Photographer: David Zentz