Grantham schoolgirl showcases talent at prestigious deaf arts event
A talented schoolgirl showed off her dancing talents at a prestigious deaf arts event last month.
Eight-year-old Katy Degnan, who was born deaf, was selected from dozens of hopefuls to take part in Raising the Bar, an intensive weekend of workshops in music, dance and drama organised by the National Deaf Children’s Society and culminating in a showcase performance in Birmingham last month.
Along with 19 other talented youngsters, Katy, a pupil at Allington with Sedgebrook Primary School, spent the weekend at the Ruddock Performance Arts Centre being mentored by professional deaf musicians, dancers and actors before demonstrating her extraordinary talents on stage in front of dozens of parents, family and friends.
The Raising the Bar event was designed to inspire deaf young people and show that there is nothing in the arts that deaf children cannot achieve with the right support.
Leading deaf performance companies Music and the Deaf, Deaf Men Dancing and Deafinitely Theatre were chosen to mentor the young performers who were selected after submitting videos of their talents in music, dance and drama, their personal journeys and the barriers they had overcome.
Damian Ball, of the National Deaf Children’s Society, said: “It filled me with pride to watch Katy and the other deaf youngsters display their incredible talents. It was great to see so many deaf young people showing their families, friends and each other exactly what can be achieved in life with a bit of belief, drive and dedication.
“I often hear that people think that deaf people can’t achieve in life but this couldn’t be further from the truth. This event demonstrated that deaf people can aim for the stars.”
This year’s Raising the Bar project caught the attention of Hollywood deaf actress Millicent Simmonds, who said: “When I was growing up I never saw deaf actors on TV. I never thought it was a possibility for me. It’s important for kids to feel represented.
“If deaf kids can see me on screen and feel like they can do it, that makes me happy, but that goes for any