Illawarra Mecury, Australia
By LISA WACHSMUTH
July 22, 2014
Born profoundly deaf, Albion Park hip hop dancer Macy Baez doesn't hear the beat of the music the same as the rest of her crew, rather she "feels the music".
The 14-year-old is part of Crew Illagroovers, a young dance troupe that will jet off to the United States next week to represent Australia in an international hip hop competition.
Macy's drive and talent has inspired many, including NSW Minister for Disability Services John Ajaka, who on Tuesday presented the crew from Street Beatz Hip Hop studio with a $5000 cheque to help them on their way.
"Macy is one determined little individual. It was my honour to meet her and help her get one step closer to the United States to dance," he said. "... Macy is a great role model for all young people with disability."
The Dapto High School student, who has bilateral Cochlear implants, said she was thrilled to be able to compete on a global stage.
The crew of seven, aged from 12 to 14, will compete in the varsity section of the World Hip Hop Championships in Las Vegas from August 4 to 10 and Macy is going for gold.
"I'm going there to win," she said. "I'm very excited, and a bit nervous, but I love competing because it's a lot of fun and it has a serious side too."
Not only has Macy's dancing improved since she started lessons six years ago, so has her hearing.
"I have to listen hard for the beat," she said. "I feel it before I hear it."