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A New Take on Disability and Dance

Viktoria Modesta shows off a beautiful fake leg

Viktoria Modesta sporting a prosthesis as glamorous as she is.

I’ve written in the past about dance troupes like Axis that feature dancers in wheelchairs performing with able bodied dancers, blind and deaf dancers, and a hip hop crew composed entirely of physically challenged dancers.  This is a subject near and dear to my heart because of my background in working with people who live with physical disabilities.

 

You may have seen the video I’m featuring today because it’s gone viral.  Pop singer Viktoria Modesta is an amputee who in the past has made videos in which her prosthesis was hidden and she looked like a classic beauty with all of her limbs intact.  In “Prototype” she features two different artistically designed prosthesis and at the end of the video does a dance with one of them.  The first one looks elegant and exotic, a perfect fit for her fashonista style. Her movements are graceful and natural as the prosthesis lights up like a futuristic bionic body part.

 

The second one is a spike that comes to a point and it looks as if the dance is designed for it or it was designed for the choreography.  If you want to fast forward to the dance, it starts at 4:57, although she does dance here and there throughout the video.

 

This video sparked a ton of comments, many from people who dislike her music and therefore find the whole thing pointless, or a shameless use of a disability to get attention.  I confess I’m not a big fan of this type of music either, but I think the way she showcases her prosthesis is groundbreaking.

 

I would enjoy it a lot more if I liked the music, but that doesn’t change what she’s doing in this dance.  She could easily hide her leg and still dance.  We wouldn’t be able to tell.  So what is so new about this that makes it different from some I’ve the other artists I’ve written about in former posts?

 

She doesn’t just show the world that she can dance just as well as an able bodied artist in spite of her missing leg.  She creates a work of art out of the leg and showcases it.  It’s a thing of beauty in its own right.  One viewer commented, to the disgust of many others, that he almost wished he had a fake leg that lit up.  He voiced what many were thinking.  It’s that cool.

 

Born with this disability, she’s comfortable with it and it’s a big part of who she is.  I’m glad it’s sparking controversy because it means people are thinking and talking about it.  I give it a thumbs up!  Here you go:

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by LaurieAnn Lepoff

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Dancing with Disabilities: Breakdance Champions!

disabled break dancer performs

Break Dancing on Crutches

After you watch these guys competing against the world’s best break dancers, you may never again be able to say there is anything you “can’t” do.  They are not just proving that people with disabilities can dance.  They are proving they can dance as well, or better than, the best able bodied dancers in the world

 Because of my past work with the disabled community, this is a special interest of mine, so you’ll be seeing more examples in future blogs of people who’ve surmounted daunting odds to become great dancers.  It takes courage, determination, and commitment, but it also takes the one thing that distinguishes the ones who make it from the ones who don’t.  That component is love.  Falling in love with dance is the piece that makes everything else possible.  If you don’t love it, you won’t have the incentive to do it enough to get that good, whether you are challenging a physical disability or not.

 I’ve seen people with no sense of rhythm morph into outstanding dancers because they loved it enough to do it enough to get that good at it.  I’ve also seen people with natural talent quit before they ever realized that talent because they just weren’t interested enough.  This amazing video is testimony to what the human spirit can accomplish with enough love to carry it through. 

By LaurieAnn Lepoff

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