She without an arm, He without a leg, Dance- Hand in Hand

I have researched the story as best as I can and this seems to be the most accurate version of this amazing pair of dancers. The below video not only inspires but will send chills down your arms and deeply move your heart. There is a story told within the dance, it is one of loss and wounding but the final outcome is beauty, strength and determination, all found within the strength of having another by one’s side. Even without knowing the full details of the story, the dance speaks for itself.  Kara

The girl (Ma, Li) was a beautiful promising professional ballerina when she lost her right arm in a car accident in 1996. She was only 19. At times, suicidal, her parent’s love and support gave her the strength to live.

Five years later in 2001, she was invited to compete at the 5th national special performing art competition for people with disabilities and won the gold medal. That success gave her the hope to return to her beloved dance.

In September 2005, she ran into a 21-year-old young man (Zhai, Xiaowei). He was being trained to be a cyclist for the national special olympics. He had never danced before.

He climbed on a tractor when he was 4 years old and fell off it and lost his left leg. He’s always been very optimistic and athletic, with a great sense of humor. He had tried high-jump, long-jump, diving, swimming, and settled on cycling. His coach believed that he would be able to get 2-3 gold medals in the national special Olympics games.

Initially, Xiaowei didn’t understand how he could “dance,” so Li invited him to see her performing “Hand in Hand” with another male dancer. He felt that he saw a perfect soul dancing on the stage and agreed to give it a try.

Much determination has gone into the making of this performance. In April of 2009, they were one of the finalists among 7000 competitors in the 4th CCTV national dance competition. It is the first time a couple with disabilities has ever entered the competition. They won the Silver medal with the 99.17 high score and a standing ovation.

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