As choreographer Chris Fonseca teaches me a dance routine, the beat of the music is pumping through me.
But not through my ears. I’m wearing a SubPac, which is strapped on to my back and allows me to feel the beat of the music as it thumps through my body.
Chris is trying to replicate what it would feel like if, like him, I were deaf. And this is his aim – to give the opportunity for deaf dancers in his classes to feel the music so they can learn his choreography with ease.
“Dance classes are always so fast-paced, and without being able to hear the music you end up just being out of time,” says Chris.
The SubPac, which is widely used in the music world to help music producers feel the music without damaging their ears, works by transferring low, bass frequencies directly to your body, providing the physical dimension to sound.