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People Empowered: Kayla

“I was born with my limb difference (I call it my paw!). I was born with amniotic band syndrome, meaning I was a reckless baby and broke the amniotic sack, it tied around my paw and stopped it from developing. I think the only tough time I had was in kindergarten when I was bullied by other kids, but my mum was a huge support system for me growing up and she was able to find the one book which was about limb differences which was read to the class and made a huge difference with the kids. It goes to show just explaining that something can be different can hugely impact perspective. Overall my mum is just the foundation of it all; she just let me believe that anything I put my mind to I can do.”

“It’s actually super important to me to have a balance with my prosthetic - with and without - because I am proud to be limb different, I am comfortable being limb different, but at the same time I find my prosthetic to be useful in certain situations. Having a balance with being able to embrace myself fully in different ways is important to me.”

“Dancing! With dance, there’s not just one type of look or one type of body that you need to be in order to make it as a dancer or just wanting to dance. I’m huge on advocating for being able to express your emotions through dance because that’s what dance is about, expressing yourself and being able to portray the message of the music. You don’t need to look a certain way in order to do that.”

“I’ve never really experienced judgement when it came to dancing, but the thing that held me back with my limb difference was actually myself. I thought - without even realising this was how I was thinking - that there was only a certain point that I would be able to make it to with dancing because you never see anyone like me or anyone with a disability for that matter, making it. You never see someone like me dancing on tour with an artist like Chris Brown, right? It just took one dance teacher to ask me who I wanted to tour with to change that. It took me off guard because I suddenly realised that might be possible for me. It made me realise that I was holding myself back and that I needed to change that.”

“Dancing makes me feel the most empowered, especially in heels. Hip hop, or contemporary in an actual heel makes me feel so powerful and confident and beautiful in my body. It’s a way of expressing my emotions and that truly makes me feel empowered.”

“The rainbow mask because I love how colourful it is and I love wearing masks that stand out!”

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