Lead Her Forward

Leah J. Zelaya

DANCING DREAMS | Dancer and Representative Advocate for the Muscular Dystrophy Association

Born with a neuromuscular disease, I faced a host of challenges including a medical diagnosis that claimed I would never be able to walk. In spite of these obstacles, I learned to believe in my abilities. In 2013, I enrolled in Dancing Dreams which provides dance classes and performance opportunities for children with medical or physical challenges. Dancing Dreams has empowered me to express myself through dance while confidently building my self-esteem and leadership skills. So far, I have performed in the Meredith Vieira Show, Lincoln Center, and six public recitals. In 2016, the Muscular Dystrophy Association invited me to Washington, D.C to speak and advocate on behalf of 4,000 children like me. I had the opportunity to speak to senators and congress representatives of New York State about accessible air travel, newborn screening and healthcare reform. Through all these accomplishments, I continue to discover my unique talents and aptitudes while believing that I can overcome the impossible.