Jr. Ashlanders: SimoneRenée Moore

SimoneRenée Moore adores performing. The 19-year-old high school student divides her time between school, rehearsals at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival — where she is in the chorus of "The Music Man" — and dance practice.

Dancing has always been Moore's first love. She began taking lessons when she was 9, but her parents said that even when she was very small she took great joy in dancing.

This year, the young dancer is planning big changes in her life. Moore, who has been deaf since birth, is making a move outside of Ashland to pursue her dancing dreams and to be part of a larger deaf community.

"I'm going to miss SimoneRenée," said her mother, Peyton Moore. "It's been exciting to watch her grow and develop into a woman who is ready to take on the world. I can't imagine daily life without her, but I am so excited for her. She has really loved the Ashland community — it is so wonderful — but what she has missed is deaf peers."

Denise Wilson, SimoneRenée's other parent, agrees that Moore is carving out a bright and creative future.

"What strikes me is her persistence. She achieves her goals, whatever she sets her mind to," Wilson said. "I'm so proud."

Moore shared her thoughts with the Daily Tidings via sign language, with her mother interpreting.

DT: What grade are you in?

SRM: I'm a senior.

DT: Talk about school and your plans for this year.

SRM: Right now, I go to AHS, but I'm transferring to the Oregon School for the Deaf in Salem, Nov. 2.

DT: Are you nervous about the move to Salem?

SRM: Yes, I'm nervous. I'm going to miss my family and everyone at Ashland High, but it will be OK.

DT: What is your favorite subject in school?

SRM: Fine arts.

DT: Tell us about someone at school who inspires you.

SRM: Tara from the Washington, D.C., Wild Zappers. They are a deaf dance troupe. They did a performance at the Green Show recently. Tara is a beautiful dancer and successful deaf black woman. She actually taught me to dance when I was little.

DT: What do you like to do outside of school?

SRM: I like to read and I like to dance. I was reading the "Twilight" books, but now I'm reading "The Juliet Club" by Suzanne Harper.

DT: How did you get involved with OSF?

SRM: I heard about the auditions and decided to give it a try. I like dancing and showing others that deaf people can dance. And I like earning money doing what I love.

DT: Do you have trouble balancing school and your outside interests?

SRM: No, it's not a big problem for me. Of course, I always wish there was more time to sleep.

DT: What do you want to do when you finish school?

SRM: Dance professionally and maybe study massage.

DT: Do you have siblings?

SRM: I have three brothers and one sister. I'm the oldest.

DT: Tell us about someone in your family who makes you proud.

SRM: My family and my grandparents are very supportive of me and help me achieve my goals.

DT: Talk about something you have done that makes you proud.

SRM: I'm proud to be involved in OSF and that I can handle the challenging schedule with three to five performances a week.

DT: Talk about something that is challenging for you.

SRM: Sometimes it's hard communicating with hearing people who do not sign. I love it when people try to communicate with me even though they may feel a little nervous.

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