Dare to dream...Dare to dance...Dare to overcome...

September 08, 2015  •  3 Comments


I firmly believe that the young and elderly can bestow wisdom upon us unrivaled by any book IF we simply watch and listen.  Such is the case with the amazing young lady that Stills that Speak Photography is honored to showcase today.  What struck me immediately when speaking to and photographing this beautiful and extremely talented young lady is although self-assured, Nya exudes a sweet and humble spirit so rarely found in today's society.  What isn't as obvious is the challenges this Umbiance Center for the Performing Arts dancer overcomes on a day to day basis while maintaining that light up the room smile of hers.  As always a proud mom conveys her daughter's story best...

'Failure for most people lies not in setting your aim too high and missing your mark, but setting your aim too low and hitting your target.'  "These words along with various other inspirational quotes such as 'prepping for opportunity' fill the dream board of this inspirational young woman.  Ten year old Nya Harris has been dreaming big since the tender age of four.  When she explained to her parents that she was going to be a dancer and an actress at the wise age of five, her parents patted her on the head - placed her in classes and replied nonchalantly 'Sure baby.'  Months later they sat in a filled auditorium watching their daughter act in three different scenes.

Fast forward three years.  Nya's friends and family watched as she continued to sing, dance, and act in two additional 5 star plays.  Today she can be found walking around the house while reading books by Misty Copland, Michaela DePrince among other well known dance artists.  She devours book after book while training 3-4 hours a day on her dancing.  We encourage her to go outside and enjoy being a kid, her dad explains, but Nya would rather have her friends join her inside doing p90x or mastering a new dance move.

With every diversified interest, she is focused and driven in her goals.  Nya is environmentally conscious and loves animals.  On days that she is seizure free (Yes, readers - mom said 'seizure free'), she loves hanging out with her best friends, laughing and learning new things.  Her dreams continue to motivate her despite her recent epilepsy diagnosis.  She is learning how to manage it so that she can continue to enjoy doing what she loves...whether that be books, quotes or her friend's company.  Regardless the challenges this diagnosis presents, Nya remains positive. 'Mom, you have to dream it first in order to live it' she says. 

This past summer she enjoyed the experience of being taught by and dancing for Mrs. Debbie Allen.  Nya's sights are currently set on training for her next goal...auditioning for none other than the legendary Dance Theatre of Harlem."

Be on the lookout for this up and coming talent...what an incredible lesson for the rest of us...if only you BELIEVE!!


This was so well written. What a great gift. This was just beautiful
This is an incredible story and I enjoyed every word and picure. As I read about Nya,I felt as thou I was reading a short story that I didn't want it to end. Great job. Please continue to write.
Thank you for this wonderful article and the subject you chose, it is well written, captivating and inspirational. As her story has made me desire to dream again, I hope it will be read by other disabled veterans and they too be impacted for the greater good.
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