Saturday, 30 August 2008

Handicapped but not disabled

This is from my friend, Janet 

This is a remarkable story about tenacity!

The lady, in her 30's, was a dancer who had trained since she was a little girl. Later in life, she lost her entire left arm in an accident and fell into a state of depression for a few years. Someone then asked her to coach a children's dancing group. From that point on, she realized that she could not forget dancing. She still loved to dance and wanted to dance again. So, she started to do some of her old routines, but, having lost her arm, she had also lost her balance. It took a while before she could even make simple turns and spins without falling. 

Then she heard of a man in his 20s who had lost a leg in an accident. He had also fallen into the usual denial, depression and angry type of emotional roller coaster. She was determined to find him (apparently he was from a different Province) and persuaded him to dance with her. He had never danced, and to 'dance with one leg... are you joking with me? No way!' But, she didn't give up, and he reluctantly agreed thinking, 'I have nothing else to do anyway.'

She started to teach him dancing 101. The two broke up a few times because he had no concept of using muscles, of how to control his body, and knew none of the basic things about dancing. When she became frustrated and lost patience with him, he would walk out. Eventually, they came back together and started training seriously. They hired a choreographer to design routines for them. She would fly high (held by him) with both arms (a sleeve for an arm) flying in the air. He could bend horizontally supported by one leg with her leaning on him, etc. In the competition, as you will see, they dance beautifully and they legitimately won the competition. It's ingenious how they incorporate the crutch into the routine!

This is a most magnificent and touching performance. It is living proof that the strong human spirit can conquer tremendous physical limitations!

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