Once a Dancer, Always a Dancer

Kim OcampoAlways the girl with a smile on her face, Kim Ocampo, a 24-year-old dancer living in Oakland, California, never let her smile wane. In 2015, she was hit by a car while riding her bicycle to the dance studio where she taught salsa, ballroom and tango, and competed. “I had the green light to cross the street, but a car ran the red light and struck me on my right side.”

She wound up with a T8 injury but has had a very positive outlook, which she credits to her family. “I believe a strong support system is important, as well as how I was raised by my mom. I was always a happy baby.” Ocampo has bounced back from her injury, fiercely wanting to learn as much as she can about her new life. “Don’t change who you are, but become a better ‘you’ by overcoming challenges and conquering your fears,” she says. “Surround yourself with positive people and be open to trying new things.”

She practiced what she preached a few months ago when she flew to Oakland to take part in a seven-month apprenticeship for the Axis Dance Company, one of the most presti