Award spotlight shines on passionate Kapiti Coast dancer
Salem Foxx named as a finalist in the Artistic Achievement category in the 2014 Attitude Awards
As a toddler with Aspergers Syndrome, Salem Foxx would communicate by hitting and screaming. Now 14 years old, Salem takes the stage as a disciplined balled dancer, expressing himself through his talent and passion for movement.
The Kapiti Coast dancer is a finalist in the Artistic Achievement category in the 2014 Attitude Awards. The national awards celebrate the excellence and achievements of disabled kiwis.
Salem's talent has seen him earn distinctions in dance exams, win top placings in dance competititions and be selected by the Royal New Zealand Ballet to perform in four of its productions. Not limited to just one style of dance, he combines his love for ballet with contemporary, jazz, lyrical, tape and even acrobatic dance.
This year marked a pinnacle in Salem's achievements. After auditioning alongside hundreds of other hopefuls, he was selected by the New Zealand School of Dance as a Junior Associate in contemporary dance. He was one of only three contemporary juniors and the only male.
A role model to other young dancers, Salem's blog balletboyznz is read by passionate dancers worldwide and is being included as resource material at the prestigious London Boys Ballet School.
Salem's dream is to forge an international dance career for himself. He says; "Even though I have Aspergers Syndrome, I won't let that get in my way of my goal."
Salem being an Attitude Awards finalist is testament to his determination. He will find out if he has won the award at a black-tie gala on World Disability Day, 3 December at Auckland's Viaduct Events Centre.
There are eight categories in the 2014 Attitude Awards: Sport Performer of the Year, Courage in Sport, Artistic Achievement, Youth, Spirit of Attitude, the Attitude ACC Employer Award, Making a Difference Award and the inaugural Attitude Junior Award. Lyn Cotton, Artistic Director of Christchurch's Jolt Dance Company was named a finalist in the Making a Difference Award (Read more).
The Artistic Achievement Award is sponsored by the IHC Foundation. Chief Executive of ACC, Scott Pickering says ACC is proud to be principal sponsor of the awards for the seventh year. "I'm really looking forward to this year's Attitude Awards, which are a significant event on New Zealand's calendar. Through celebrating excellence in the disability community and the important contributions made by New Zealanders with disabilities, the awards have the power to shift perceptions and to enhance lives."
DANZ encourages dance and movement as an expression for all.
See New Zealand Disability and Dance Strategy The expression of ourselves through dance and movement is what dance is all about - the expression of being and life. We all have a right to that expression - that is the heart and essence of the strategy.
See With Three Clicks Project - a unique insight, understanding and knowledge of disability through the stories of six people who experience disability/impairment and who dance.