VANCOUVER (CBS/AP) – Less than a year after a talented professional dancer named Adrianne Haslet-Davis lost her leg in the Boston marathon bombings, she took the stage on Wednesday to perform again.
Haslet-Davis danced on stage at the 2014 TED conference in Vancouver, where she wore a white sparkling short dress that showed off a new prosthetic leg as she twirled across the floor with a partner.
The two danced the rumba to a shortened version of the song “Ring My Bells” by Enrique Iglesias.
Haslet-Davis finished the performance with a huge smile on her face as she wiped a tear from her cheek.
It was her first time dancing in public since the bombings.
“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. I was always determined to dance again, and I knew that I had to, that I would, and here I am,” Haslet-Davis said in a statement. “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.”
The prosthesis was designed by Hugh Herr director of the Biomechatronics group at The MIT Media Lab. Herr is an MIT Professor and double amputee. Herr started designing the bionic leg specifically for dancing after visiting Haslet-Davis in the hospital. Herr says he wanted her to be able to get back to what she loved doing.
Herr attended the conference to explain how the state-of-the-art prosthetic leg uses biomechanics to help restore a person’s natural dancing movements and patterns.
“I want to thank the people of Boston for their incredible support on every day of my journey. And of course, I’d like to thank Hugh Herr, the director of the Biomechatronics group at The MIT Media Lab and founder of BIOM, for his determination to create the leg that allowed me to dance again, and to this amazing international conference, TED, for inviting Hugh to speak and me to dance,” Haslet-Davis’ statement added.
(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
MORE LOCAL NEWS FROM CBS BOSTON