Showing The World How To Dance Without Legs

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KPLR) - For Kris Lenzo, this wheelchair sometimes serves as a dance partner.

"It's a means of mobility," says dancer Kris Lenzo. "It's an extension of my body, my wheelchair is. It's a way to get around."

When he was in college he enjoyed cycling, but his life changed forever during a summer break.

"I lost my legs in 1979 after a work accident,' recalls Lenzo. 'I was crushed in a cardboard compactor."

Although he became a double amputee, he began overcoming obstacles as an international wheelchair athlete competing in road racing, track and basketball.

"I joke that it's easier because there's nobody defending you when you're dancing," says Lenzo. "Nobody is trying to stop you. Everybody is out there with you."

Lenzo found the dancer within himself. He joined the Chicago based dance company Momenta. They're one of many dance troupes taking the stage this weekend at the Touhill performing center. It's all part of Dance St. Louis' Spring to Dance festival.

"Limitations are largely artificial and create by ourselves or others," says Lenzo. "You can do more than you think you can."

You can see for yourself when Lenzo takes the stage, using his body and wheelchair combining incredible feats of strength and grace.

'Usually I'm thinking about what I have to do next," says Lenzo. 'But I try to have it in my body so that I don't have to focus too much and I just kind of try to be in the moment and enjoy the movement."

That's how the motions of dance can open minds and open doors for others.
Patrick Clark, News 11.

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