Dancing with Amy Purdy

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by Shannon Coe, Program Coordinator

For those who watch Dancing with the Stars, and fans of Amy Purdy, you will be happy to know that she is still going strong and scoring high with the judges! 

Amy Purdy is a double-amputee Paralympian snowboarder and has been on the show for weeks. Each of her performances have blown away all of the judges.   
Bruno Tonioli, a judge on Dancing with the Stars said, “What you have achieved most of us would consider impossible. The jive is the most difficult dance for anybody to perform.”   
Although the judge did not refer to her disability directly, it seemed to me that he meant the jive was hard for anyone to do, especially a person using prosthetic legs.  Amy’s prosthetic legs have enabled her to achieve the impossible. Check this out:
Amy’s performance not only impressed the judges but me as well.  When I watched Amy do the jive on Monday night’s performance, I didn’t even notice she had prosthetic legs.  Despite a tiny hiccup, the rest of her performance was flawless. I also thought the show and most of the judges did a great job of not focusing directly on her disability but rather on her ability as a real dancer.   
As a little girl, I wanted to be a ballerina, but I never thought I could because I use a wheelchair.  After watching Amy and other dance companies that integrate dancers with and without disabilities, I came to see that using assistive technology is not a barrier but can be used as an extension of your body that enables you to achieve your dreams.  People with disabilities candance, of course!  In fact, wheelchair dance has even become a sport at the Paralympics.  To see more dancers with disabilities perform, you can check out a list of professional dance companies that integrate people with disabilities into their performances. 
So put on your dancing shoes….and vote for Amy Purdy on Dancing with the Stars.
How has your AT enabled you to achieve your dreams?

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