Wednesday, April 3, 2019

This Dirty Dancing video could change your idea of dancers and disability

"I was determined from a very young age not to let my wheelchair define me or confine me." That's pro dancer Cheryl Angelelli talking on Good Morning America yesterday. This woman's got talent. At 14, she was a competitive swimmer who hit her head on the bottom of the pool after a dive, sustained a spinal cord injury and became a quadriplegic. In 1998, she returned to competitive swimming and went on to win bronze, silver and gold medals at the Paralympic Games and in other competitions.

In 2014, Cheryl retired from pro swimming and started competitive wheelchair dancing. She and her dance partner, Tamerlan Gadirov, have been ranked seventh in the world for wheelchair ballroom dancing. Cheryl works as a marketing manager for DMC Rehabilitation Institute in Michigan. She's also the founder of Dance Mobility, a free monthly wheelchair dance program at Fred Astaire Studio in Michigan.

I read that the two are renowned for their rendition of Dirty Dancing, so I looked it up. And just, wow. Watch the video. It could make you rethink your idea of what a "dancer" is. There's grace, passion and real connection, like the best ballroom dancers have, along with new techniques and moves. It just might change your idea of disability and ability, too.

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Thanks for sharing!

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