Purdy Inspires Amputees on Dancing with the Stars

Created: 05/20/2014 6:45 PM
By: Hannah Tran

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- She has caught the hearts and courage of many by becoming a finalist in ABC's Dancing With The Stars.

Olympian Amy Purdy is proving you can overcome any challenges as she dances with two prosthetic legs

On the television screen with dance partner Derek Hough, they look like another amazing pair of dancers on the show. But with a closer look, you can tell that Amy Purdy's feet and legs are not her own, they are prosthetic.

However, with moves like these, you can't even tell. ABC 6 caught up with several Rochester residents downtown to show them video clips of her performance. They all had similar reactions.

"That's awesome, I couldn't do half of that with my own real legs," said Shayna Rose alongside friend Joshua Camden. Camden also couldn't believe his eyes.

Rochester resident Shane Briggs had his eyebrows raised in pleasant surprise.
"Ok, I have to say I'm severely impressed," said Briggs.

Mayo Clinic employee Jessica Cullifer didn't even know she had prosthetic legs.
"You can't even tell," she said.

But Purdy's skills do not stir up emotions like it does with patients that also have prosthetic legs.

Mike Johnson lost his leg decades ago from a farming accident. He's stunned with how well Purdy mastered her balance.

"That's probably the biggest issue I would think of is the balance," said Johnson.

At soon-to-open Limb Lab in Downtown Rochester, owner Brandon Sampson says certain activities like dancing have their own kinds of prosthetic feet, sockets, and ways to hold the prosthesis on the limb.

"When a person dances with this or wears high heeled shoes, it changes the position of the socket over the foot, so we need to adjust this prosthetic device to go straight up and let hem accommodate a higher heeled shoe," said Sampson.

Purdy is not just another contestant on the television screen. She's an inspiration. If she can dance like that without her own legs, it's easier to believe that hardly anything can take away what you love doing most. 

Photo: ABC 6 News