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People are shocked I am a dancer because I was born without a hand




"You do not have to be the stereotypical person to do the things you want to do."

This video is part of Healths # RealLifeStrong series celebrating women who represent strength, resilience and grace.

When Sydney tells Mesher that she is a dancer, she is often surprised, she says. The 20-year-old was born left-handed, but that did not stop her from pursuing her dreams in an industry known for her rigid body standards: "I'll be the person who breaks this barrier of thinking." [1

9659004] Mesher's left arm terminates at the base of her wrist due to symbia dys- lactylia, a rare condition that causes under-development of limbs in the uterus. "When I was growing up I was bullying myself," says the native Portlander. But she finally realized that the way people responded to her was really about her: "What happens is someone acting out of his own fear."

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Mesher is currently studying dance at Pace University in New York City. "With dance you're always growing, there's no breakpoint," she says. "There is always a place to be better." After college, she hopes to become Rockette or substitute dancer for Lady Gaga.

"I am very grateful that I am in an industry where we accept different body types," she says. "I know that I'm different, especially as an artist, it's so important to have those differences."

Her individuality shines through her work: "That's part of who I am, it's not who I am but it's part of me, I want to share who I am and what I love and celebrate that. "For more of Mesher's story, watch the video above.

We want to know more about #RealLifeStrong women. Name yourself – or a friend or family member – here. We will share the most inspiring stories we will receive in the coming months.


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