Overcoming Disability Through Dance : The Story of Mieko
Mieko began to learn Tahitian dance for the purpose of keeping body consciousness when growing deafness began to affect her balance.
Mieko has been learning Ori Tahiti since first meeting Misaki Yamamoto, Te Marama, a dance teacher in Nagoya.
It is not an easy accomplishment to practice dance without an ability to hear the music. Before beginning her journey through the art of Tahitian Dance, Mieko tried Hawaiian Dance. However, she was disappointed to be told that one must be able to hear the music when practicing Hawaiian dance.
Misaki Yamamoto, whose school resembles a large family, graciously accepted Mieko into her program.
Mieko, who has now nearly completely lost the ability to hear, feels drum vibrations and has developed a keen ability that allows her to follow the other dancers in her group.
As she and others acknowledge, Mieko listens with her body and with her heart.
Dancing Ori Tahiti brings joy into Mieko’s life and has allowed her to again find the connection between her own body and the balance that she was once in fear of losing altogether.
Mieko will refine her skills at the School Dance Heiva in Tahiti later this year with Te Tuamarama. She will be arriving at the end of May with other students from Te Marama, her school in Nagoya, Japan.
Mieko was born in 1978 and her hearing impairment was first diagnosed at the age of 10. Despite treatment, Mieko gradually lost her ability to hear. Today, Mieko has no hearing ability in her right ear and hearing in her left ear is rapidly degenerating. She lives in a world of near complete silence.
Her encounter with Tahitian Dance and the Te Marama School has given her confidence and completely changed her outlook on life.
For her, Te Marama is a place where she forgets about her disability, a place where she can reconcile with joy.