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Deaf 6-Year-Old Girl Teaches Herself to Ballroom Dance After Watching TV Show

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Wearing a cheerful red dancing dress and a huge grin, 6-year-old Audrey Tyrrell is in her element.

Audrey fell in love with ballroom dancing at a very young age, sweetly asking her father, Andrew Tyrrell, if he would dance with her.

He obliged, of course, but Audrey soon wanted to take her at-home dance moves to a real dance studio.

She watched dance stars on the BBC’s “Strictly Come Dancing,” and was inspired to study dance and perform on stage one day.

Her parents didn’t want to discourage their daughter, but they weren’t sure how successful Audrey would be as a ballroom dancer, given her hearing difficulties.

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Born in the U.K., Audrey was diagnosed with a bilateral sensorineural hearing loss when she was a baby. Her parents were concerned about what the diagnosis might mean for their daughter’s future.

“I didn’t know she would ever dance,” Audrey’s mother, Tracey Tyrrell, told the Daily Mail. “I will never ever forget that moment when she was two weeks old and I discovered she had hearing difficulties.”

“I can’t deny that I was devastated and I imagined the years ahead,” Tyrrell said.

“I just thought she will never hear the birds and the waves of the sea next to us.”

Audrey wears hearing aids, which do help with her hearing, but she has difficulty separating background noise from conversations happening in close proximity — making dance lessons difficult at first.

Since Audrey had trouble listening to both the music and the verbal instructions from her dance teacher, Audrey taught herself to read lips and body language instead.

Audrey quickly rose to the top of her dance class and started entering ballroom dance competitions.


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She has already won four contests and is looking forward to November when she will compete in Britain’s National Blackpool Grand Finals.

Tyrrell is hopeful that her daughter’s story will inspire other children with disabilities to pursue their interests and find their passions.

While Audrey’s parents were initially paralyzed with fear about what life would look like for their daughter, they now realize they didn’t need to be afraid.

“But now she is doing all of this,” Tyrell said. “She proves that you can still achieve everything.”

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A graduate of Grand Canyon University, Kim Davis has been writing for The Western Journal since 2015, focusing on lifestyle stories.
Kim Davis began writing for The Western Journal in 2015. Her primary topics cover family, faith, and women. She has experience as a copy editor for the online publication Thoughtful Women. Kim worked as an arts administrator for The Phoenix Symphony, writing music education curriculum and leading community engagement programs throughout the region. She holds a degree in music education from Grand Canyon University with a minor in eating tacos.
Birthplace
Page, Arizona
Education
Bachelor of Science in Music Education
Location
Phoenix, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Lifestyle & Human Interest




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