Okay, everyone, no more excuses -- if these ladies and gentlemen can learn ballroom dancing, you can too.
During an annual charity episode of the British TV show "Strictly Come Dancing," four paraolympians paired with professional ballroom dance partners and took to the stage. Double amputees Nathan Stephens, Hannah Cockroft and Martine Wright joined blind soccer player David Clarke onstage to compete in a salsa-style number set to Katy Perry's Firework. After the performance, judges declared Cockcroft, a wheelchair sprint racer, the winner.
Although all four disabled athletes are well known in the UK, Stephens received international attention and became a YouTube sensation in 2012, when he and his then-fiancee, Charlene Beard, secretly learned a wedding dance and treated their wedding reception guests to a surprise "first dance" as a married couple. Until that dance, Stephens had been wheelchair bound. However, he was determined to use prosthetic legs to dance with his bride on their wedding day. During the bridal couple's romantic and touching dance to the Jason Mraz song I Won’t Give Up, there was not a dry eye in the house.
While Stephens, who lost both his legs in a tragic accident at age nine, has prosthetic legs, he never wore them due to the pain they caused. He instead relied on a wheelchair for mobility, and most of his friends had never seen him standing before, much less ballroom dancing.
Stephens was thrilled with the dance's success. “I was more nervous walking onto the dance floor than when I competed in the London Olympics," said Stephens, a javelin thrower who competes in his wheelchair. "But we had rehearsed so well it went off like a dream.”
So, as we were saying, what's your excuse? Ballroom dancing is terrific for your mind, body and spirit -- and it's fun to learn something new. Get out of the house, come to Quick Quick Slow Ballroom Dance Studio, and have a great time tonight. Contact us for a complete class schedule, as well as information on wedding dance lessons.