Our Founder: DEBBIE
Debbie Wang was born in San Jose, CA. As a lover of life and exploration, Debbie spent her years growing up trying every passion or interest possible. She dabbled in gymnastics, ballet, tae kwon do, tennis, piano, horseback riding, painting, cooking, sewing, and even went to circus school! She was never interested in becoming an expert, but simply enjoyed learning and being able to experience different things. As she grew older, Debbie continued her exploration and expanded her repertoire of skills to include playing guitar, brazilian jiu-jitsu, boxing, singing, acting, making balloon animals, volunteering, and many other things. It was at this time that Debbie also found a steady and unfailing love of dance. She also discovered that her life goal and passion was to help others and make the world a better place.
Debbie went to college at the University of Southern California (go Trojans!) and had an unforgettable experience. She became an active part of different USC programs including Troy Camp, Joint Educational Project, and various dance teams on campus. Debbie went on to become the president of USC’s Instant Groove, a co-ed multi-style dance team. She challenged herself in all styles of dance and studied jazz, contemporary, hip-hop, and even breakdancing. Academically, Debbie also excelled at USC. She studied research at USC with USC Social Psychology Department, and discovered her passion for the profession of Occupational Therapy. Debbie graduated USC with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy, and later received her graduate degree in Occupational Science & Occupational Therapy.
After graduate school, Debbie continued to pursue her professional career as an occupational therapist. She worked in various rehabilitation settings and continued training with different techniques to help her clients achieve their goals. She also actively continued to explore her own passion of dancing by working with various dance companies and groups. In 2009, Debbie began to work towards merging her two loves together. She wanted to help her patients be able to express themselves through dance and enjoy the dance floor, just as she did. Debbie believed in the creative process of dancing to promote wellness, socialization, and positivity.
Along with another coworker, Debbie traveled to New Jersey to learn from American DanceWheels, an organization that promotes wheelchair dancing. After receiving technical training from the Wheel One Syllabus, Debbie returned to California to begin her journey and expand her ability to help others. Her first goal was to create a unique integrated dance program where participants from all walks of life were welcome to learn a variety of dance styles and techniques. This first ever “So You Think You Can’t Dance” class/program began as part of the Wellness Center at Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center in 2011 and provided opportunities to individuals of all abilities to dance together. After seeing countless participants light up on the dance floor, smiling and moving in ways that they never dreamed possible, Debbie knew that they had created something special.
Since then, Debbie has continually expanded the program to include all diagnoses (such as stroke survivors, neurological illnesses, etc.) and additional social dance styles (salsa, merengue, bachata). While she recognized the incredible benefits that dancing, music, and art has for all peoples, Debbie also saw a gap in the ability for individuals with disabilities to be able to access and share artful experiences in the community. She did not believe that the only place people with disabilities could learn how to dance, play music, and create art should be at a hospital. Debbie began to turn her focus towards community advocacy and integration. She knew that the only way to accomplish this was to teach both the disability community and others what amazing things we can create together! In 2014, Debbie debuted her non-profit community organization and performing dance company, Limitless. Limitless made groundbreaking waves in the Latin Dance and local community in their first year, including creating an incredible network of supporters and ambassadors. Her small vision to start a local hospital-based dance program had become a dream to change the entire dance community and the world.