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Simoné Welgemoed, former Miss Deaf SA 2012, was born profoundly deaf and received her cochlear implant(CI) at age 22 months. Today she lives her dream as the world’s first profoundly deaf professional ballet dancer with a cochlear implant.
Aside from her dancing career as a principal dancer that performs leading roles with various companies both locally and internationally, Simoné aspires to motivate and inspire young hearing impaired children to chase their dreams.
As she was raised in a hearing society, she was always confronted with questions about her CI whenever she went. So, as a result was constantly reminded of how different she was. At ballet Simone was confronted with the fact that she couldn’t hear the music and thus no aspirations to becoming a professional ballerina could be made, according to many in dance circles. This gave her the fire she needed to defy the odds.
During her reign as Miss Deaf SA 2012 she experienced the positive impact and progress that she made in society by educating people about deafness: People that usually act indifferent or in an inappropriate way toward people of hearing loss are simply those that need to be educated about it.
Simoné saw the difference it made to help other hearing impaired individuals to realize their own dreams by sharing her successes as a professional hearing impaired dancer. There is a great need in the hearing impaired community to dream big, as many hearing impaired/deaf children do not realise the amazing potential in themselves. Many children and even their parents are made to believe that being born deaf, means that life has to be restricted and that there are only certain paths to choose
from. Simoné defied the odds and therefore puts a lot of energy and effort in to continue inspiring future young minds to do exactly that.
The need for a positive role model for hearing impaired/deaf children has led Simoné on a journey of complete self-acceptance. She is now a lot more publicly open about her deafness on social media and loves giving motivational and educational talks as well as guest dance performances at events worldwide.
Simoné has acted as ambassador and spokesperson for Carel du Toit Centre- where deaf children learn to speak, WAND (Women’s Achievement Network for Disabilities), Casual Day, Hear2Day, Ribbons4roses, Caring Hands and she served on the exco for AHLAD (Association for Hearing Loss Accessibility and Development) . Furthermore, she has been involved in personal fundraising projects for hearing aids as well as cochlear implants to individuals in need in conjunction with several
Simoné recently entered for the world famous “Gaynorgirl Search 2020” competition, and is delighted to be selected for the final round due to end on the 16th of August 2020. She hopes to be chosen as a “Gaynorgirl” as this opportunity as ambassador will be a foot in the door to be widely recognized in the world of international ballet.
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