From the outset, Macy Baez is just like any other fashion-forward teen: ocean blue Rihanna-esque nails, a bandana and immaculate makeup.
But the 15-year-old from Illawarra entered the world a little differently to some, she was born profoundly deaf. It makes sense then, that for her, dancing is like another language. And it’s through “feeling the beat” she’s able to express herself.
“I’m telling a story when I dance. You can tell with the motions whether I’m sad or angry. And when I’m dancing with somebody else, it’s like we’re passing a message back and forth with the movement,” Macy Baez told The Huffington Post Australia.
Upon discovering hip hop as a seven-year-old, Baez knew she needed the dance form in her life, forever.
Fast-forward eight years and she’s off to the world hip hop titles in Las Vegas with her dance crew, the Illagroovers this August (this will be their third shot at the competition) and fronting a project for Sony which sees her the star of a music video powered by the tech giant’s latest wireless speaker offering.
All of which is just one step closer to fulfilling her childhood dream: to become a backup dancer for a celebrity. Her ultimate pick? Janet Jackson.
“I’ll train every morning from 6.30 before school, that’s where I’ll do my freestyle practice -- like breakdancing -- and then with the Illagroovers we practice between four and six hours each week. It’s a good vibe. I call them my hip hop family,” Baez said.
With bilateral Cochlear implants, Baez never learnt sign language however spent many years doing speech therapy and is able to lip read to assist with her hearing.
Hoping her story inspires others, Baez recently spoke at Kelston Girls College in New Zealand to an audience of deaf, hearing-impaired and hearing students.
“I told them don’t let anyone get in your way because you’re not going to go any further if they put you down. Just be who you are, follow your dreams and never give up.”
Her maturity and achievements to date have meant other deaf students assume she’s much older than what she is.
“They think I’m in my 20s -- I’m like, nah man, I’m 15,” Baez said.
One of them, another aspiring dancer who looks to Macy for help with her technique.
“She is so amazing. But her hearing affects her dance. I told her to touch the speaker, then you’ll feel the beat. She was so thankful,” Baez said.
It’s something Baez does instinctively and is the reason Sony chose her to front their campaign which sees her dance to a 90-second track with strong bass notes enabling her to feel the vibration.
The production wasn’t small either and she got to meet world renowned choreographer (and Baez’s own idol) Parris Goebel in the process. There was everything from lighting, cameras, makeup and styling.
Her pinch-me moment? Getting styled in her very own pair of Adidas Stan Smiths for the music video.
It’s true, give the girl the right shoes and she can conquer the world.