BRYANT, Ark. (KTHV) - Making history isn't easy, especially when no one before you has tried and succeeded.
But, Kelton Ramsey, the first male member of the Bryant High School Dance Team, said trying is always worth it.
“I was definitely worried about being the only guy on the team,” said Kelton. “But I had been practicing and practicing.”
He decided to take a shot at his dream and tried out for the team. “The next day I found out I made it,” he said. Although he felt like the “odd man out” at first, he said it has already been an amazing experience. “We are all a family and I feel like we’ve gotten closer since the day we tried out,” he said.
Kelton’s dance coach, Brooke Crump, said he is a unique person who is setting a positive example. “He is an inspiration because he gets out there and gives it 110 percent all the time, every time,” said Crump. But, the interesting thing about Kelton is that being the first young man on the dance team isn’t even the most unique thing about him. He’s also the only deaf member on the team.
Since the age of two, he has been totally deaf in both ears. He said he is lucky to have gotten surgery that allowed him to get two cochlear implants. “Thank God, I woke up and responded to the surgery and I was able to hear,” he said. He said that the cochlear implants still regularly cause some challenges. Sometimes they fall out during his dances or his sweat will compromise their working ability.
“Sometimes they even die during dances,” said Kelton. “But an old coach I used to dance with said to always keep going even if something messes up.” Kelton said when the sound disappears, he relies on feeling the music. “I feel the beat and the rhythm of people’s feet,” he said. “It keeps me going even if I can’t hear it.”
Kelton hopes his positivity through challenges will inspire others. “Never give up and always give your best,” he said. “Give one hundred percent at everything you are very passionate about because if you don't do it, people won’t see it and you won’t have big opportunities like I have right now.”
Kelton hopes to one day pursue a career in acting and dance.