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'Dancing comes from the soul'

By MARTHA RIAL, Times Staff
Published December 16, 2007

Naomi Houston, 15, opens Soulful Arts Dance Academy's 5th Anniversary Celebration and Holiday Concert with a solo to "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas."
[Martha Rial | Times]

Naomi Houston, 15, of St. Petersburg opens Soulful Arts Dance Academy's Fifth Anniversary Celebration and Holiday Concert with a solo to Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas. Diagnosed as hearing impaired at age 2, the Gibbs High School sophomore hasn't let the disability stop her from being in constant motion. Sometimes she cannot hear the music clearly, but it doesn't matter, she says.

"Because dancing comes from the soul."

She said ballet is her favorite style of dance because she can use more space to express her feelings.

Houston dreams of becoming a professional dancer. Even more important to her is to remain unique. She wants to use her dancing as a message for other aspiring dancers, to prove that having a disability doesn't have to hold you back.

"You can be anybody you want to be just by being yourself," she says.

Soulful Arts Dance Academy, established five years ago, held the last of its holiday concerts Saturday.

[Last modified December 15, 2007, 23:52:52]

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