The ZCO/Dance Project - Dancing Beyond Disability

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.
Art has always been a true driving force in her life. Using all the different mediums, Jessica feels that she can express all things without any barriers.  Rowing also became an interest four years ago. As a result of her disability, she is limited to many sports so was thrilled when she found a program that adapted the sport and was hooked from then on. On the water, she says “I am free, I am an athlete!”  Jessica started dancing three years ago with Kitty Lunn. She had always seen wheelchair dancing but never had the chance to participate in a dance company. When she discovered her program through a friend, it was such an exciting experience. It was rewarding to discover that she could not only do choreography, but also to be able to do wheelchair ballet and put on performances, showing the world that people with disabilities are capable. Her true loves of her life are her niece and nephews. They too live with a disability and reinforce her beliefs of a limitless life no matter your circumstance. Jessica states, “There isn't a move I make every day I wake up that doesn't affect them. I want to be an example and motivation, so they know they can reach for the universe.”

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. 
She is currently the subject of a documentary entitled “And…Scene, A Woman’s Journey To Walk Again”, produced by I Ain’t Playin’ Films. Jamie was most recently seen in the world premiere of “Underground”, a play written by the legendary David Henry Hwang in Theatre Breaking Through Barrier’s ‘Power Plays.’  Earlier this year she appeared on the Today Show’s “Everyone Has A Story” segment with Kathy Lee & Hoda.  Jamie is the executive director of a not for profit organization called “THISAbility,” under which she is now actively establishing a fully inclusive performing arts conservatory with an interdisciplinary approach in both CT and NYC as well as launching a professional theatre company of mixed abilities. 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 and

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.
Having attended The HS of Performing Arts, danced under a CETA grant w/Alvin Ailey 3, earning her union cards doing summer stock & at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, she then continued to study acting at HB Studios & Circle in the Square. Playing cops/hookers & lawyers as well as being a stand-in got her thru the 90's. While attending Hunter College pursuing her social work degree,in 1997 she was diagnosed w/MS. She did earn her MSW, became a freelance writer & wheelchair dance performer. Recently certified in Chair Yoga (LVCY-T). Amy is a published writer on disability issues and the arts backstage, equity news, and the united chord spinal magazine.

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.
She prefers film work in front of camera. Maria is also a member of SAGAFTRA. She's done movies such as “Awakening” with Robin Williams, Robert de Niro, directed by Penny Marshall. Marla also has a passion for dancing. She started dancing in a wheelchair in 2005 with the direction of Ruben Zarkionov in ballroom dancing. She has also mainstreamed in taking classes at the Dance New Amsterdam in ballet at the Milonga where she dances tango in her wheelchair. She's very excited to be dancing, as this will be the first time Marla will be performing on her feet.

For more information on ZCO/Dance Project and bookings, please visit
Tickets for “JOURNEY” can be purchased at


  1. So thrilled to read about this performance! Zazel is the best and I'm sure her company of dancers shine brightly along with her. Congrats to all!

  2. Professional essay writers are diversely knowledgeable so whatever you are looking for, our writers on dissertation proposal writers have the ability to write an essay and gives a online classes as your desire.

  3. Losing hope is embarrassing stage in life for a man, but the knowledge and books are the single thing who never simply leaves him alone along with assignment writing service education, books manual him properly in relation to right and completely wrong.

  4. michael kors bags,
    michael kors handbags,
    michael kors factory outlet,
    air max 90,
    tory burch outlet,
    hollister uk,
    cheap michael kors handbags,
    soccer jerseys,
    ralph lauren uk,
    toms outlet,
    football shirts,
    ugg outlet,
    michael kors outlet,
    the north face uk,
    air max 2015,
    true religion jeans,
    nba jerseys,
    oakley sunglasses,
    air jordan 13,
    cheap wedding dresses,
    ray ban sunglasses,
    oakley sunglasses,
    pandora jewelry,
    hermes bags,


We would love to hear from you! Please become a member to comment. Thank you!

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.