by Zazel-Chavah O’Garra
ZCO/Dance Project is a dance company that consists of six women and two men, all with disabilities. ZCO showcases the talent of its dancers, demonstrating “Dancing beyond Disability” with grace, charm, perseverance, soul and power!
As Artistic Director of ZCO, I would like to announce the performance of “Journey” on October 9th. “Journey” is a show that I produced, conceived and directed and will take place at the Dixon Place Theatre in New York City. "Journey" fervently explores the triumphs and challenges that we have as disabled dancers.
After becoming a disabled dancer 12 years ago, I knew I wanted to expand my creativity, so I invited other disabled artists to join me in this performance to celebrate their. From my experience and in talking to my company members, I've noticed we aren't always treated as professionals because of our disabilities. I don’t believe that these circumstances should overshadow our talents and steal our humanity.
My project is valuable to everyone because, at its core, it is about the humanity and expressing the spirit our circumstances. We, as artists, want people to realize that everybody can dance despite their physical challenges. Our goal is to do away with the misconceptions that people have of persons with disabilities.
Meet Our Dancers:
Zazel-Chavah O’Garra (Artistic Director) attended University of Michigan and Empire State College, where she received a Bachelor of Arts dance performance. A Presidential Arts Scholar, she performed with Mark Dendy Dance Company and Alvin Ailey workshop II. Zazel has also performed in numerous musical theatre stage productions in the U.S. and abroad and served as a movement coach for the soap opera “As the World Turns.” As a professional model, she appeared on two issues of Essence Magazine covers, and several print and runway jobs. She has also appeared in national and regional commercials, numerous industrials and supplied voice-overs for a number of ads. Zazel appeared on the television show Dr. Oz to share her “survivor” story. Zazel received VSA (Very Special Arts) John F. Kennedy Center National Teaching Artist Fellowship and the GAIA Women’s Health and Wellness Award for Artistic Achievement. Wanting to share her story, she performs nationwide Inside/Out (voices of the disability community) written and directed by renown director, Ping Chong. Earlier this year she appeared as a guest artist at the first Black History Month program on disability, at the White House. She holds a MSW from Fordham University. Zazel is represented by Cunningham, Scott, Levin and Depene talent agents and is a member of SAG/AFTRA/EQUITY. She is the honorary ambassador for the voices against brain cancer.
Jessica De La Rosa is a 30-year-old college graduate, artist, dancer and competitive rower. Jessica’s disability is Osteogenesis Imperfecta, She was raised her amazing mother who also has an disability called Cerebral Palsy. Jessica was made very aware, early in her childhood that there is no such thing as 'can't' and was always motivated and determined to get things done. She was interested in art at a very young age and used it as an outlet for coping and teaching.
Jamie Petrone who has Steven's Johnson Syndrome/Transverse Myelitis, is thrilled to be continuing her "Journey" by sharing the stage with such incredible talent. As a professional actress Jamie has performed Off Broadway, on National Tours, regionally throughout the country, on television, and in film.Professional Affiliations: Advisory Board Member of the IAMPWD (Inclusion in the Arts & Media of People With Disabilities) Campaign and SAG-AFTRA. Jamie holds a BFA in Musical Theatre from Shenandoah Conservatory. Visit http://iaintplayin.wix.com/andscene and www.jp-musictheatre.com.
Amy Meisner-Threet (aka Amy M. Threet as a member of SAG/AFTRA,EQUITY) is a native New Yorker living with Multiple Sclerosis. She is thrilled to still be performing at this stage of her life.
Marla DeFex was born in Venezuela and contracted polio at 9 months old. Her family brought her to New York in 1967 for treatment and a better way of life. She didn’t let her disability stop her, she has been pursuing acting since 1988. She is a trained actor, she's taken classes in technic and scene study at HB studios.
For more information on ZCO/Dance Project and bookings, please visit
Tickets for “JOURNEY” can be purchased at