After a fall from a stilt-house porch left him paralyzed, John Beauregard couldn't bare the looks he received from people when he was confined to his wheelchair. For the first 17 years after his spinal cord injury, Beauregard constantly felt embarrassed.
Then he joined Karen Peterson and Dancers in 2000, and began performing contemporary dance onstage.
"I was literally embarrassed to be seen in my wheelchair. It just puts you in that place that everybody feels sorry for you," says Beauregard, 70, who has limited arm movement. "Now I can't get enough of it. There's no stage big enough, no audience big enough."
Since then, Beauregard, of Miami, has traveled the world dancing with the mixed-ability company, which currently features three wheelchair dancers and four able-bodied performers.
The company will perform Oct. 22 at a dance showcase at The New World School of the Arts Dance Theater. They will also perform for public school students at "A New Definition of Dance," an event Oct. 25-26 featuring mixed-ability dance workshops and shows by dancers with disabilities.