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At 68, blind ballerina isn't done inspiring others

Robbed of her sight 28 years ago, Brenda Mosby has a vision for her future by learning ballet and giving others a new perspective.

DENVER — Learning something new at any age can feel daunting. Tackling something like ballet when you're in your 60s, while also maneuvering through life blindly, could be enough to paralyze most of us.

Not Brenda Mosby. She will tell you she's nothing special. But, what makes her so special is her perspective.

Twenty-eight years ago, Mosby's world went dark.

"One day, I was leaving work, and my vision was blurry, so we went to the ER, and the doctor looked at me and there was nothing physically wrong with my eyes," Mosby said. "That was like a Monday, Tuesday, by Friday I called and said, 'I can't see.' "

Doctors believed Mosby's antibodies attacked her optic nerves. Most of her vision was compromised.

"I lost my sight, my physical sight, the ability to see and read and all that, but then I found a vision of why I was here, what I'm here to do," she said. "I'm proud. I'm 68. You know I surprise myself sometimes. I literally have to stop and say, 'Really, Brenda? You're going to do that?' and over here it's like, 'Wow, Brenda, you did that!'"

She said she does things she enjoys.

"If it's not fun, I don't want to do it," she said.

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Ask her, and she'll say she found her new hobby at the perfect age.

"I am a woman who wants to have a healthy body," she said. "That's what I feel ballet does to me. It gives me a healthy body. I know that ballet is good for the body and the mind and the soul."


Inevitably, when you try something new, you meet new people. Mosby met her match in ballet teacher Diane Page.

"Some may think Brenda is too old for ballet," Page said. "She was trying to find somebody who can help her. She had not found anyone, and I knew I can help her. Ballet takes so much concentration 'cause it's so difficult. It really takes you out of your normal world."

Normality was exactly what Mosby wanted to escape. Page gave her a gift to see a world of dance by taking her hands into her own and guiding her.

"When we balance, we focus on something, and if you can't do that, it makes it extremely difficult," Page explained to Mosby. "So balancing is very difficult for you because you cannot see. I'll show you with your hands."

Page grabbed Mosby's hand in class as she guided her through the dance movements. She showed Mosby the motion of the movement with her hands: "We're gonna go out. Flex the same time as you come in, and out, flex, in."

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Mosby still gets emotional talking about the first time the pair met, when Page walked up to her in a group ballet class.

"I can't see my feet, and so she used her hands, and she said, 'Here's your feet, and here's first, and here's second,' and it's right there, which I have enough sight that I can see when it's put there in front of me," she said. "And so that made me feel – I'm gonna cry – how much she cared about me learning this. She really cared. She didn't push me to try and do what I couldn't do. And she took the time to think about how can I help her, so yeah she's changing my life."

Page admitted that Mosby has changed her life, too.

"I'd be crazy if I thought of Brenda as limited in any way," Page said. "Teaching her went deep in another way that has definitely made me realize that people with disabilities are proficient in so many other ways."

Mosby's past may have taken her sight, but it hasn't robbed her of her vision. She recently increased her ballet classes with Page to two days a week. 

Page shared that Mosby has inspired her to teach more people with limited mobility.


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