Dancer who is losing vision — but not passion — inspires others

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GRAYSLAKE, Ill. — Lamaiya Lancaster is a dancer, choreographer and adjunct professor at the College of Lake County.

She’s also losing her vision due to an incurable, degenerative eye disease.

Lancaster has come up with an ingenious way to compensate for her vision loss. Using her limited peripheral vision, she’s able to mark out points on the stage, which she refers to while dancing to keep from colliding into other dancers.

“I’ve never wanted to, or felt the need to, let my inability to see clearly stop me from experiencing all of the amazing things that I’ve experienced,” Lancaster, who was first diagnosed with the eye condition at age 7, said.

She’s become an inspiration to her fellow dancers, as well as students and colleagues at the College of Lake County. Lancaster is also part of a modern dance troop called L-Theory Collective.

“She can be very blunt,” student Alexandra Warda said, “but she gets to the point. It’s awesome because she’ll be real with you.”

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