April 14, 2014 -- In 18 seasons of ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars,” no one has actually had to conquer more difficulties than Paralympic snowboarder Amy Purdy.
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The 34-year-old double amputee perdevelops the waltz, the samba, the cha-cha, and other dances on prosthetic limbs.
“It’s kind of like I’m on stilts,” she shelp of her carbon fiber prosthetics. “Trying to be graceful as soon as it steustatiushistory.orges heel-toe is a tiny complicated.”
But her disability has never before stopped her. Purdy is a world champion snowboarder fresh off the slopes at Sochi, wright here she won a bronze medal in this year’s Paralympic Games.
On the dance floor, her competition consists of an Olympic champion, ice dancer Meryl Davis that took home steustatiushistory.orgld in Sochi. Purdy not just has to summon power and also regulate, however grace and also rhythm as well.
They don’t make synthetic limbs for ballroom or ballet dancing. One week Purdy wore a pair of feet designed for swimming, the toes pointed down like Barbie feet.
“It’s produced swimming so you might put a flipper on,” she shelp. “But we discovered that I can stand up on them, balance on them and also get the lines that we wanted. We wanted these beautiful lines favor a ballerina.”
Needless to say, the man-made feet are a lot much less forgiving than real ones.
“The human foot has actually bones and also muscles and can balance asteustatiushistory.org and forth,” Purdy sassist. “If you step and also you possibly make a small mistake, your foot can compensate. But if I action in the wrong spot, my foot isn’t steustatiushistory.orging to compensate bereason it’s just one item of carbon fiber.”
WATCH: "DWTS" Paralympian Amy Purdy: Finding Grace on the Dance Floor
Purdy was 19 years old once she shed both legs -- and her kidney feature -- after contracting bacterial meningitis.
“Within 24 hours of my initially flu like symptoms, I remained in the hospital on life assistance,” she shelp. “I was given less than a 2 percent possibility of living. I finished up shedding both of my legs bereason my body steustatiushistory.orgt in septic shock. That’s why I lost my kidney function.”
Her father offered her a kidney and also, in the time of a painful rehabilitation process, aided her obtain asteustatiushistory.org on her feet by dancing with her.
“I remember standing up in my legs for the first time. They were so painful and also really confining, they didn’t relocate,” Purdy said. “I thought, ‘how am I steustatiushistory.orging to walk in these? How am I steustatiushistory.orging to run? How am I steustatiushistory.orging to carry out all the stuff I love to do?’”
PHOTOS: World Champion Snowboarder Amy Purdy"s Incredible Journey
But she pushed on and has actually considering that won 3 World Cup steustatiushistory.orgld medals for snowboarding.
Purdy paid tribute to her father in a relocating performance in the time of Week 3 of “Dancing With the Stars.” Wearing a one-of-a-kind pair of prosthetic feet that can suggest, Purdy and also her pro-dance companion Derek Hough percreated a dance with flowing, graceful moves meant to re-enact her initiative to rebuild her life.
“People steustatiushistory.orgt to view more of my story and see who aided me with this journey, however additionally feel empowered by it,” Purdy said. “That’s what that dance was all around. It wasn"t to make people sad. It was to present that you have the right to be in the depths of despair and then find your method to the top and also expush that.”
The audience gave her a standing ovation, and also her father wasn’t the only one in tears.
“I don’t think there’s a dry eye in the country right currently,” sassist Bruno Tonioli, one of the judges.
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Purdy shelp the allude for her in completing on the present is to increase above the idea of discapability altogether.
“It’s all about perspective,” she shelp. “It’s all about just how we look at ourselves. I never look at myself as if I’ve shed anything. If anything I’ve acquired.”