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Ballerina dances through her disability

Posted at 9:11 PM, Jun 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-06 14:36:51-04
She may be in a wheelchair, but that just means her twirls happen on tires - instead of her toes.
The teen is suffering from cerebral palsy and epilepsy, which makes it difficult for her to communicate through words. But, body language can be a powerful thing. 
Dancing in the Streets AZ wanted to make sure Madera had the chance to express herself, so they - have been rehearsing for months for Madera to perform for the first time. 
KGUN 9 sat backstage with Madera and her mother in the moments leading up to her on-stage debut. 
"Oh my God. I'm just very emotional," said Roxanne Orona through watering eyes. "It's exciting." 
Orona is Madera's mother and she waited in the wings of the stage with her little star - whose light cannot be dimmed by her disability. 
Orona said, she never thought her daughter could twirl in a  tutu. 
"Had I thought about it before, I probably would have asked sooner," Orona said. "I just didn't - I mean, there's a lot of choreography involved, there's a lot of work, a lot of dedication so, I just wasn't sure where to go."
But, the couple co-owners, Joey Rodgers and Soleste Lupu, at Dancing in the Streets AZ, reached out to Orona. They asked over Facebook if Madera could be involved in their summer performance. 
"When you see Madera, her smiling lighting up - then I know she has and I know she's enjoying it," Lupu said. "And I can see that in her and that's, you know, what you want every child to do."
The pair poured their ideas into the tricky choreography - but, coming out with the idea that dance doesn't have to be limited. 
"This is not a one time deal," said Rodgers. "I would love to put her in 'The Nutcracker'...  and I got wonderful ideas. This is just the beginning. You know what I'm saying? The beginning process of what I can do."
The beginning of a path Orona has always wanted for her daughter - where she is treated like the beautiful ballerina she has always been. 
"It's just... It's been so exciting," said Orona. "It's just... I can't even express what the feeling is. It's amazing."