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Essex Magazine featured Dyson alumna Sydney Mesher in "Born Without a Hand – Pro Dancer Sydney Mesher Reshapes Perception of Disability"

10/05/2020

Essex Magazine featured Dyson alumna Sydney Mesher in "Born Without a Hand – Pro Dancer Sydney Mesher Reshapes Perception of Disability"

By the time she was in third grade, she had joined her studio’s competition team and was dancing 25 hours a week, training primarily in jazz, tap and ballet, in addition to hip-hop. It quickly became apparent that Mesher matched her passion with natural talent. While attending Pace University in New York City, she began auditioning and booking jobs as a professional dancer, model, and motivational speaker. She has been interviewed and been featured in articles by CNN, NBC, NBC Nightly News, ESPN, the Oregonian, Newsday, People Magazine, GMA, New York Post, and the Mighty.

Read the full Essex Magazine article.

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Pop Sugar featured Dancer Sydney Mesher in "Dancer Sydney Mesher: "It's Time to Start Reshaping the Perception of the Word Disability""

09/29/2020

Pop Sugar featured Dancer Sydney Mesher in "Dancer Sydney Mesher: "It's Time to Start Reshaping the Perception of the Word Disability""

Growing up in Oregon, Mesher went to a public high school with a dance performing arts division, and she then studied Fine Arts at Pace University (her degree is a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Commercial Dance). Her focus of dance, she said, is hip-hop and jazz. Though having a limb difference brings its challenges - especially during partner work or using props - it has helped her become a problem solver, which she said benefits her in everyday life and in her career.

Read the full Pop Sugar article.

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Gillette News Record featured Pace alumna Sydney Mesher in "Dancer born with one hand makes Radio City Rockettes history"

01/02/2020

Gillette News Record featured Pace alumna Sydney Mesher in "Dancer born with one hand makes Radio City Rockettes history"

A dancer born with one hand is the first person with a visible disability ever hired by New York's famed Radio City Rockettes.

“I don't want to be known as the dancer who has one hand, and not because that's a bad thing," Sydney Mesher, who joined the Rockettes this season, told Newsday. “But because I've worked very hard to be where I am.”

Mesher, 22, is missing a left hand because of symbrachydactyly, a rare congenital condition.

The Pace University graduate from Portland, Oregon, was hired by the Rockettes after her fourth audition. She said she has been “mesmerized” by the troupe, which dates to 1925, ever since first seeing them on TV in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Mesher said she started dancing as a child and attended a performing arts high school. In the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, audiences caught up in the show might not notice her missing hand, even where there are minor modifications to the act to accommodate her. In one number where the Rockettes ring a bell in each hand, she rings just one.

Rockettes creative director Karen Keeler called Mesher "an incredibly versatile dancer with a strong work ethic." Keeler said Mesher “is smart and determined, with an eye for detail.”

The annual Radio City Christmas Spectacular runs through Jan. 5.

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"Washington Times" featured Pace University graduate Sydney Mesher in "Dancer born with one hand makes Radio City Rockettes history"

12/06/2019

"Washington Times" featured Pace University graduate Sydney Mesher in "Dancer born with one hand makes Radio City Rockettes history"

A dancer born with one hand is making hoofer history as the first person with a visible disability ever hired by New York’s famed Radio City Rockettes.

“I don’t want to be known as the dancer who has one hand, and not because that’s a bad thing,” Sydney Mesher, who joined the Rockettes this season, told Newsday. “But because I’ve worked very hard to be where I am.”

Mesher, 22, is missing a left hand because of symbrachydactyly, a rare congenital condition.

The Pace University graduate from Portland, Oregon, was hired by the Rockettes after her fourth audition. She said she has been “mesmerized” by the troupe, which dates to 1925, ever since first seeing them on TV in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Rockettes creative director Karen Keeler caled Mesher “an incredibly versatile dancer with a strong work ethic.” Keeler said Mesher “is smart and determined, with an eye for detail.”

Read the full Washington Times article.

 

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"Atlanta Journal Constitution" featured performing arts alumna Sydney Mesher in "Rockettes hire first dancer with a visible disability"

12/06/2019

"Atlanta Journal Constitution" featured performing arts alumna Sydney Mesher in "Rockettes hire first dancer with a visible disability"

For the first time in the troupe’s history, there is a dancer with a visible disability.

Sydney Mesher, a dancer and model from Portland, Oregon, was born without a left hand. But, according to her website, she “found confidence within her unique body, and has embarked on a journey of celebrating and praising all body types.”

On Nov. 13, she made her debut at Radio City Music Hall as a Rockette. Fans of the Rockettes have another reason to kick up their heels. For the first time in the troupe’s history, there is a dancer with a visible disability.

Sydney Mesher, a dancer and model from Portland, Oregon, was born without a left hand. But, according to her website, she “found confidence within her unique body, and has embarked on a journey of celebrating and praising all body types.”

On Nov. 13, she made her debut at Radio City Music Hall as a Rockette. 

The requirements for being a Rockette include a dance background in ballet, jazz and tap, and a height between 5 feet, 6 inches and 5 feet, 10.5 inches. 

Nowhere does it say you have to have two hands, however.

Mesher was born with symbrachydactyly, a rare condition that causes the underdevelopment of limbs in the womb. "Growing up, I dealt with a lot of bullying," she told Health magazine last year. She was studying dance at Pace University at the time of the Health interview, and said she had hopes of becoming a Rockette or a backup dancer for Lady Gaga after graduation. 

“I’m very grateful that I’m at a time in this industry where we’re starting to accept different body types," she told Health. "I know I am different. Especially as an artist, it's so important to have those differences."

The Rockettes have been finding ways to add “differences” to the troupe. During auditions here in May, creative director Karen Keeler said Atlanta dancers can help to culturally diversify the lineup.

Mesher’s difference is just another way the group is trying to diversify.

Read the full Atlanta Journal Constitution article.

 

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