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Humans of Dance for All Bodies: Roma Leffmann

Prior to volunteering as the Instructor Coordinator for Dance for All Bodies, Roma Leffmann was a participant in numerous Dance for All Bodies classes pre and post the Covid-19 worldwide pandemic. She is an invaluable team member and brings reflective insight to the organization.

Roma graduated from college in 2012 with a degree in Psychology from the University of California, Santa Cruz and she currently resides in Alameda, California. In 2013, Roma experienced her first stroke, and since then had subsequent strokes in 2014 and 2015. Roma stated, “I’m learning to accept and embrace the new me.” She is a wheelchair user with vision, hearing, and other differences that she is learning to navigate.

Three photos of Roma with friends during the Christmas Season

When asked about dance, Roma expressed that in high school she took Jazz Dance in lieu of P.E. and enjoyed dance as a way to express herself. Dance has become a refuge for her as it is accessible wherever one is and whatever one’s ability. Pre-Covid, Roma was active in rock climbing; however, when the pandemic occurred, rock climbing was no longer an option due to citywide health order restrictions. Roma decided to learn more about dance by exploration of various online classes.

Roma rock climbing in Remillard Park

Dance has supported Roma’s mental health as well. Roma believes that everyone should be entitled to benefit from the opportunity of dance and the exploration of one’s body through movement. Roma shared a graphic that is a daily reminder that just because one does something differently, it does not make it wrong. The graphic states, “You are your own worst critic. You are doing amazing. Remember you are doing differently, not less.” Dance for All Bodies has granted Roma the opportunity to work on overcoming her own disability bias. She expressed, “I am learning to love myself no matter what.”

Roma's daily reminder graphic; a man kneeling embracing a woman in a wheelchair

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