SAN ANTONIO--For 20 years the San Antonio Deaf Dance Company has empowered students beyond the stage.
Just because they can't hear the music, doesn't mean they don't feel the beat.
"I feel welcomed here. There's a lot of help here, a lot of support here, and a lot of connection with the other students,” said dancer Aaron Gonzales.
Each summer, middle and high school students from all over San Antonio who are deaf and hard of hearing come together to dance.
"I've been dancing for two years now, what I love about it is like it's home. This company is to show that deaf people really can do anything. We really can. The only thing we can't do is hear,” dancer Justina Miles said.
All this work will lead up to the main performance in front of family and friends on July 29.
"It's a lot to do in four weeks but I'm really enjoying it,” dancer Alfredo Castillo said.
Directors hope the message of empowerment will stick.
“Twenty years ago there weren’t a lot of deaf people going to college or being involved in college programs; they would stay home after graduation. But now you have 90% to 95% will go to a college program,” company director Carol Ann Broderson said.
The goal for most of these performers is to graduate college...with the same lifelong dreams many of us had at their age.
"Even possibly get into the NFL if I could. I would like to do that. Even work with deaf people,” said Castillo.
Once the curtains pull back and the lights turn down, these futures are ready to shine. The final performance is scheduled for Friday, July 29th in the Marshall High School Auditorium.