Heather Leigh Whitestone McCallum (born February 24, 1973 in Dothan, Alabama) is a former beauty queen who was the first deaf Miss America title holder, having lost most of her hearing at the age of 18 months.
Through ballet I was fortunate to find a place to escape, a refuge from my feelings of being an outsider. The dance studio was the one place I felt accepted and 'just like everybody else' was in the dance studio. Hoping to improve the rhythm of my speech, my mother had enrolled me in a ballet class when I was five years old. The ballet class boosted my self-esteem.