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Last night I had an amazing experience. I attended a benefit performance of the Axis Dance Company of Oakland, California (www.axisdance.org). The performance was hosted by Hope Haven Children's Clinic and Family Center (www.hope-haven.org). The Axis Dance company features dancers with and without disability. From the moment the curtain went up, I was mesmerized and enthralled. I loved the way the dancers integrated their movements with each other, and the way the disabled bodies and the non-disabled bodies became more buoyant through the support of the other. I also LOVED how the wheelchairs and the prosthetic devices became a part of the performance, and I loved how beautifully each body expressed itself.

I was so moved, it was all I could do to keep from jumping out of my seat and moving with these amazing dancers (good thing I restrained myself)! Watching them, I began to get an understanding of why photographing people with special needs is such a powerful experience for me. Watching each dancer fully embrace the capability of his or her own uniquely beautiful body, I glimpsed how powerful it would be if we were ALL able to embrace exactly who we are--disability, hardship, talents, blessings and all. I got a picture of how exciting it would be to see each person expressing their own individual creativity, and joining with the creativity of others by being fully themselves--embracing the strength and the fragility that is a part of every human life.