DANCING has been a passion for Lydia Mackett since she was three years old.
Now she has won a national competition to star in a video to highlight that having a hearing impediment shouldn’t hold you back in performing arts.
Lydia, who goes to Brune Park Community School, in Gosport, was diagnosed with hearing problems when she was four years old and is now profoundly deaf.
She wears hearing aids and also lip reads in order to help her communicate every day.
But when it comes to expressing herself through dance then there are no barriers for the 14-year-old.
She’s an expert in a variety of styles including ballet, tap dancing, hip hop and contemporary.
She said: ‘It is a privilege to be picked and I am looking forward to meeting new people. Dancing is my passion, my career, and my freedom. It’s what I love the most out of all the things I can do.’
Lydia entered charity National Deaf Children’s Society’s Raising the Bar competition where those hard of hearing aged between eight and 16 were asked to submit a short video of themselves dancing.
In total 10 – including Lydia – were chosen as star performers and have been invited to attend a two-day workshop in Birmingham.
It is being put on by deaf dance crew Def Motion, and at the end a video with all 10 stars will be recorded and sent to schools across the country to demonstrate exactly what deaf children and young people can achieve.
Lydia’s mum Debra Mackett, 38, Bittern Close, Gosport, said: ‘She’s always been into dancing and is into every style going.
‘We get the charity’s magazines and saw the competition in there so decided Lydia should enter.
‘I’m thrilled she was selected and we’re looking forward to the workshop in Birmingham.’
Bryony Parkes, from the National Deaf Children’s Society, was a judge.
She said: ‘Lydia displayed lots of natural talent in her entry video.
‘Her movement was full of energy and skill, while her choreography demonstrated real flair and imagination.
‘Lydia is a great example of how deaf children and young people can achieve just as much as their hearing friends and siblings.’