Deaf Dancer Bailey Anne Vincent and Michele Wiles Are Combining Sign Language and Ballet

"I’m going to end up in Timbuktu," jokes Bailey Anne Vincent about navigating New York City’s bus system. The Washington-DC–based dancer, choreographer and director (of her multi-, body-positive Company360 ) instead opted for an Uber to meet her collaborator, BalletNext artistic director Michele Wiles , and me at a diner in midtown Manhattan. In lamenting the buses’ challenges, Vincent’s complaint isn’t with their routes. Though you never know it from conversing with her or watching her , she’s mostly deaf. She began losing her hearing in her teens due to a medical condition called atypical cystic fibrosis—a complicated diagnosis that impacts a number of her organs. But this hasn’t stopped Vincent from dancing. She trained at Rockbridge Ballet in Virginia before college and later danced with a small company in the DC-metro area. Now 31, Vincent has hardly slowed down. BalletNext’s work-in-progress will combine American Sign with ballet. Photo Albert Ayzenberg, Courtesy Overdrive PR. Her newest project, with Wiles as co-choreographer, incorporates ballet and American Sign (ASL). The two dancing directors presented a work-in-progress showing this week before its in March at New York Live Arts . She and Wiles hope to bring inclusivity […]

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