Marathon bombing survivor dances on MIT prosthetic at TED

 

On Wednesday afternoon, Adrianne Haslet-Davis showed what “Boston Strong” is all about.

The Marathon bombing survivor and professional dancer who lost her left leg below the knee danced for the first time publicly since the April 15 blasts. She danced a rumba with Christian Lightner to Enrique Iglesias’ “Ring My Bells.”

Haslet-Davis, wearing a thigh-length dress, showed off her moves and her new MIT-designed prosthetic leg during a presentation at the TED conference in Vancouver.

Before going out on stage, Haslet-Davis tweeted: “Backstage … reading ur sweet msgs! You make me #BostonStrong! Wish me luck!”

After the performance, Haslet-Davis thanked many people, including the people of Boston and the MIT engineer who designed her leg.

“I’m thrilled to have danced again. It was invigorating to dance publicly with my new leg, but also to realize that my return to dance may have the power to inspire other people to reach for their goals and be proactive in their lives,” she said. “My first dance happening to be so near the anniversary of the marathon bombing stands as a reminder that I’m a survivor, not a victim. I want to thank the people of Boston for their incredible support on every day of my journey.”

The technology, entertainment and design conference included a presentation by Hugh Herr, the designer of the leg and the head of the biomechatronics research group at the MIT Media Lab. He was scheduled to talk about the new leg and his work.

Herr, a double amputee, and his colleagues designed a bionic dance leg capable of providing natural levels of power while dancing.

Follow Michael Naughton on Twitter @metrobosmike.



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