When Jacqueline Boxx gets on stage to perform her usual routine as a burlesque dancer, she typically brings either her wheelchair, a cane, or her leg braces. Featured in a new short documentary by The Scene, Boxx is talking about her disability and her desire to see people with disabilities view "their own bodies as sensual and sexual and confident,” according to The Huffington Post.
As a student in college, Boxx was diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, a rare and incurable disease which makes Boxx's joints more susceptible to dislocation.
At the time of her diagnosis, Boxx was dancer who also taught dance classes. Doctors told her to stop dancing, but she couldn't keep herself away for long. A few years after being diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos, she attended a burlesque show and realized she had to get back out on the floor.
“I went to a burlesque show and I thought how much I missed being there,” Boxx said to The Scene. “I remembered the glitter and the rhinestones and how powerful I felt; and I thought, ‘Man, it would feel really nice right now to feel powerful.’”
The experience inspired Boxx to start doing burlesque performances ― all from a wheelchair.
“When I’m performing I am showing that I love and accept my body as it is,” Boxx says in the documentary. “The way in which burlesque is so in-your-face-aggressive about owning your body is inspiring. I think that the time has come for that to include disabled bodies.”
The self-described "disabilibabe" says that the wheelchair is just a side note in what she does in her incredible routine.
“I don’t necessarily want to be know as the disabled burlesque performer,” Boxx said. “I want to be known as a burlesque performer who is a disabled woman who lives authentically and encourages others to live authentically.”