Sarah Adedeji 

We recently shared on our socials about the NETFLIX Youtube short documentary on Deaf Rave founded by the talented Troi Lee. Sarah Adedeji is a talented performer. We caught up with her to find out more about how life is for Sarah and how she’s thriving now in dance and able to perform doing something she loves. 

Welcome Sarah to our Living with Hearing Loss stories space! It’s so lovely to have you here! So we know you but would you be able to introduce yourself to our readers …

Hi! I’m Sarah Adedeji, I am 23 years old, and I am an adult audiologist aspiring to go into paediatric audiology at some point in life! I am bilaterally implanted (as of 2019) and I was actually born hearing; but I have EVA, a condition which causes progressive hearing loss. I’m also a creative {writer, poet, dancer, content creator, the lot!}

How did you get involved with dance and Deaf Rave?

Ah, I’ve always been dancing. Ask anyone, aha. I love music so much and I just love moving my body with it. Even if I’m sitting down, I’m moving something! I was able to start GCSE Dance in Year 8 but transferred schools and couldn’t continue therefore I stopped dancing. But I got into Afrobeats around 2018 and fell back in love with dancing. I also joined a hip hop class in 2021 and decided that I wanted to start training and dance more regularly. I then started sharing more videos online with it and this was how Deaf Rave found me. I create dance content as well as sign songs so Deaf Rave gave me a platform in which I could showcase my love for music in two different languages (dance and BSL) and since then, it’s been beautiful.

When you mentioned in the video about loving the bass and not the lyrics so much I could relate to this, with your love of poetry do you sometimes incorporate it within the music and dance that you perform? 

I’m not a lyrical person! I much rather musicality so I’ve never actually ventured into incorporating lyrics or poetry into my dancing. However! I recently had the pleasure of taking a class taught by Mark Smith from Deaf Men Dancing and he did a basic class of incorporating the alphabet and sign names into a routine. It was such fun and I realised I’d been holding myself back for no reason! So, it’s funny you ask because it is something I am now considering to try.

Troi Lee talked in the documentary about the discrimination he has come across. Have you had experiences of this as well?

The discrimination I have experienced, and definitely will continue to experience, is quite layered. I’m not just Deaf; I’m also Black and a woman. And it doesn’t just end there. Due to my intersectional identity, I’ve endured countless encounters of discrimination – whether it’s overt or covert; whether it’s ableism, racism, sexism; I’ve experienced different types. So it’s hard to just name examples because it happens every day; one way or another.

What advice would you give to anyone wanting to get involved in the music/dance industry?

Just go for it! Music / dance is an art and, in art, there’s no right or wrong. That’s something I’m still learning. And it’s amazing to create and share; there’s always other people in the same boat so it’s nice to collaborate. Also, build your connections! Networking is something I’ll always attribute to the growth of my career both offline and online. Moreover, it’s hard to get into the industry and to maintain a work ethic but, if it’s a true passion of yours, you’ll be able to persevere; especially if you set goals. But, please, make sure you have fun. Don’t be afraid to go back to the basics. Take on board criticism. And, remember, everything happens for a reason. One missed opportunity could mean a bigger and better one is coming.

Any final words to our readers? 

Being Deaf is a beautiful thing. It gives you such a unique perspective on things that hearing people won’t ever gain. So, use that to your strength. Use your deafness as a talent. Don’t see it as a hindrance. That’s where you’ll start to lose confidence and sight of your ambitions.

Thank you so much Sarah for your time in sharing your answers with us, sharing experiences of lived deaf experiences is so important.

You can watch the DeafRave Netflix YouTube short Documentary Here

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