Dancing Again, This Time on a New Leg

Yesterday we reported that Adrianne Haslet-Davis, the ballroom dancer who lost part of her leg in the Boston Marathon bombings, would take the stage at the TED2014 conference in Vancouver. And take the stage she did—well, more like burned a hole through it!

The special performance came Wednesday afternoon during a session given by Hugh Herr, a double amputee and director of biomechatronics at MIT. He spoke about his path to bionics and the new technologies his team is working on. (It’s pretty fascinating stuff—read the TED2014 wrap-up for more.) Before the session ended, Herr invited Adrianne to the stage to exhibit a prosthetic limb he built after meeting her last year in the aftermath of the bombings:

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Adrianne performed a rumba with Christian Lightner.
Photo by James Duncan Davidson/TED

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To design Adrianne’s limb, Herr’s team studied dance for a 200-day research period, looking at how dancers move and the forces applied to a body in motion.
Photo by James Duncan Davidson/TED

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“Bionics are not only about making people stronger and faster,” Herr said yesterday. “Our expression, our humanity can be embedded into our electromechanics.”
Photo by James Duncan Davidson/TED

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We love how happy she looks. You go, Adrianne!
Photo by James Duncan Davidson/TED

It’s said that Adrianne is scheduled to perform on an upcoming episode of “Dancing with the Stars.” We can’t wait to cheer her on.

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