Professional Dancer, Visual Artist
& Motivational Speaker
I first saw this photograph or one similar to it, of Simona Atzori in a magazine delivered to our house about three or four years ago. Simona was an example of an exceptional student in an advertisement from University of Western Ontario. She moved from Italy to London, Ontario to continue her studies in Visual Art and Dance. I left the magazine open and found myself going back to it often. But after losing track of it among the many other articles I had piled up on my desk – I think it got put out for recycling. However, even after a few years I still could not get Simona’s picture out of my mind. I often thought about her accomplishments, from the short blurb written about her and wanted to learn more.
The link in her name, above will direct you to her official website. She has also written a book, but as far as I can tell it is only available in Italian. Maybe, if enough of us leave requests (on her site or on her Facebook Page) for it to be translated to English, perhaps her publisher will make it happen. I’d really like to read her book – but my Italian is limited to greetings and counting to 10!
Simona is part of our household now. I talk about her with my kids, rather, we talk about her. We wonder aloud about the human body’s potential. How “what we already know often prevents us from learning”. We think about the fact that Simona was born this way. She didn’t know any different and so her mind and body worked together to enable her to do everything anyone else does, only she does it with her legs and feet. This is remarkable to me, because I didn’t know how much dexterity was possible within the human foot or hip joint for that matter! After we discuss Simona, my kids go full steam ahead trying to do simple tasks using their feet. They are always amazed and I think it awakens them, if only for a moment.
“If all of us were born without arms maybe we would all use feet.
I think it is a potential of our body that we don’t use – that we don’t even know we have it.”
I finally got round to using a search engine to learn more and found the following series of interviews on YouTube from the philanthropic work she does in Africa. I’ve collected them here, both for you and me. Her words are so meaningful, uplifting and encouraging. Wonderful reminders of our potential.
I love life. I think life is a wonderful gift.
And my duty is to make this gift a masterpiece.
“I can always share my experience with people and I can just tell them they are beautiful just the way they are.
It seems simple and it’s the most difficult thing for people to realize.”