Lyena Strelkoff is an inspired, creative artist and innovative educator. A professional dancer and actor, Strelkoff’s life was forever altered after a fall left her paralyzed from the waist down. Forced to re-examine the very essence of her life, she discovered new pathways of artistic and personal expression, reflecting a rare spirit of grace and courage, gratitude and compassion.
Northeast State welcomes Strelkoff to campus on Thursday, Oct. 27 for two presentations of It’s Not About the Chair, an engaging, entertaining, intimate look at life with paralysis. Sometimes heartbreaking, often hilarious, Strelkoff lays bare her disability, inviting the audience into her experience – from trauma to transcendence, bathroom to bedroom, doctors to dancing – with an insightful, personal connection that is deeply impactful and truly unforgettable.
In this blend of lecture and performance, Strelkoff delivers an unflinchingly honest account of becoming paralyzed, and building a life of happiness, success and love anyway. In the process, she debunks and demystifies our preconceptions of life in a wheelchair and creates an environment of openness where no question is too personal and no answer is too private.
In the face of her injury, artistry offers a means to understand and integrate her experience, while also providing a way to connect with the hearts and minds of other people. Through her journey, she offers an approach to life that paves the way for happiness and success, no matter what the obstacle.
Performances are at 12 noon and 7 p.m. in the Wellmont Regional Center for the Performing Arts Theater. Both events are free and open to the public. Her appearance is sponsored by the Northeast State Center for Students with Disabilities.