This past Wednesday, Haslet-Davis returned to the stage as she danced in public for the first time since her life-altering injury. She performed with her partner, Christian Lightner at the 2014 TED Conference in Vancouver, British Columbia.
The 33 year old dancer is from Boston. She showed off her new prosthetic leg in a short, white, sparkling dress. The high-tech leg supported her beautifully as she twirled with her partner to a shortened version of Enrique Iglesias’s “ring My Bells.”
She released a statement following her return performance in which she expressed her delight at being able to dance again. She had always known, following the bombing, that she would find a way to return to what she loved, that she had to do it.
The dancer and her husband, Air Force Maj. Adam Davis, were among the 260 people who were injured in the explosions that took place at the finish line of the Boston Marathon in 2013.
Hugh Herr, the director of biomechatronics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, began working on a design for a bionic leg that could be used for dancing soon after visiting Haslet-Davis in the hospital. His own status as a double-amputee gave him the empathy to want to help this courageous young woman return to what she loved doing.
Herr, who lost his legs in a climbing accident in 1982, designed his own legs that he now uses to climb today. He spent long hours studying dance so he could design a prosthetic that would hold up to the demands.
Next up for Haslet-Davis is an appearance on television’s dance competition show, “Dancing with the Stars.”