Ballerina with “Dancing Eyes” Condition Performs on “DWTS”
April 10, 2013

Legally blind, Brilynn Rakes must work differently than other ballet dancers. “Most people use their sight and the mirror when they dance,” says the 17-year-old, who wowed “Dancing with the Stars” viewers last night in a Spotlight Performance with Derek Hough. “I don’t. I have to go by what I feel.” Rakes was born with nystagmus and cone dystrophy, also called “dancing eyes” because it causes the eyes to shake constantly. Though any dancer will agree working without the mirror is a challenge, Rakes’ purely kinesthetic approach to ballet has made her a strong, technical mover. She recently attended The Juilliard School’s summer program on full scholarship, and aspires to a professional career.

Watch Rakes’ “DWTS” performance here:

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