Image of a white woman with dark hair and a limb difference wearing an orange costume, mid hair toss, dancing.
What is your favorite memory/ moment that brought you lots of joy? There are lots! But anytime that I was immersed in my body: either performing, teaching, traveling, taking a really good dance class or just eating something really spectacular.
What is something people generally don’t know about you? I’m polyamorous
What gets your fired up about the disability movement? Everything
What is your advocacy platform? I believe that ableism has to be examined from the inside out. In addition to changing policy, we also have to recognize that we’ve all been tricked into believing that certain bodies have more value than others. And that any and all education and leadership around disability absolutely must come from disabled people.
What barriers or challenges do you face in this movement? Having grown up around able bodied people, I’ve come to identify with the feeling of isolation. Now that I’m starting to realize that there’s a vast, beautiful disabled community, I’m struggling to shed the feeling of isolation and fully realize that I’m actually not alone and I do in fact, belong in a community.
What do you want those who do not identify with disability to know? That disability is mostly neutral when you remove the ableism.
What areas are you still growing/hope to grow? Personally? Professionally? Personally, I hope to just grow indefinitely. Professionally I want, and need to get better at self promotion, and to embrace the more boring aspects of self employment, like building a website.
Who was the person/role model who inspired you to look into disability advocacy? Why/how did they inspire you? I had a brilliant therapist who taught me about internalized ableism, and made me realize that it was the root cause of a lot of the pain I was feeling.
What are your next steps? I’m building lectures and workshops around expanding access and disability representation in the world of movement, fitness and dance.
How do we follow you?! Instagram: @nicolemalinoff
TEDx talk: Accessibility in the arts and everywhere.
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