Since arriving on campus, junior Davian Robinson – along with his seeing-eye dog Charlie – has definitely made the most of his opportunities. For many individuals living with visual impairment, it can define their lives. But Davian, who goes by D.J., regards things differently. He embraces his visual impairment as a gift, granting him a unique perspective on life and the art of dance.
Now a double-major in dance and exercise science, Davian has found a home in the College of Art + Architecture’s Department of Dance. A home that allowed him to realize while dancers can focus on outer-essence and beauty, true artistic expression is allowing one’s inner-being to shine through outward expression.
“UNC Charlotte has been a perfect fit for me, especially as a first-generation college student with a disability. The support from the University to foster inclusiveness, and the willingness of the faculty in the Dance Department to develop strategies to bring me into the classroom as a hands-on, auditory learner, has given me a one-of-a-kind experience I look forward to every day,” said Robinson.
Fueled by his passion for choreography and a desire to inspire, Davian is breaking down barriers in dance while working to empower and motivate others. He’s currently choreographing a piece for a student dance organization called “Inner-beauty versus Outer-beauty.” In the piece, he’s blindfolding his dancers in order to facilitate a sense of pure expression. Check out this recent coverage from The Charlotte Observer.
Additionally, he’s developing a workshop focused on “sensory beyond vision,” where he’s working with dance faculty and students to learn how to better use their bodies in space without vision. “I live with a ‘never quit’ mentality. Never quit, never give up, and never give in to life’s challenges but be willing and ready to say yes. When you do that, life becomes easy. If I can empower, inspire and motivate individuals to be the best version of themselves, then I’ve succeeded.”
D.J. is only one example of the extraordinary students and experiences that can be championed through EXPONENTIAL: The Campaign for UNC Charlotte. The campaign celebrates the dramatic trajectory of growth of the University and its 130,000 alumni and focuses on four major pillars that support, promote and motivate student and faculty success: opportunity, resources, talent and impact.