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Animated Edition - Autumn 2013
No excuses, no limits!
Luca Patuelli aka Lazylegz, founder member of ILL-Abilities, describes the coming together and developments of a team of differently-abled b-boys

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 Luca Patuelli.pdf
Image: ILL-Abilities. Photo: Ben Li, Raw Edge Photography
ILL-Abilities. Photo: Ben Li, Raw Edge Photography
ILL-Abilities is an international dance crew created in 2007 with the original intention of being a ‘super crew’ with some of the world’s best b-boys who happen to be differently-abled. A ‘super crew’ is basically an all-star team of dancers from different crews and different parts of the world coming together on occasion in order to compete or perform for specific events.

The crew originally started off with this idea in mind but after a couple of performances together we quickly realised the power we have to inspire and encourage people to believe in themselves. We still compete and perform together but now we focus on sharing our stories through motivational entertainment programmes, workshops, and theatrical dance performances. We have had the honour to spread our message ‘no excuses, no limits’ on an international level by performing at many different events across North America, Europe, and Asia including the UK’s very own Breakin’ Convention at Sadler’s Wells Theatre in London.

We all have completely different backgrounds and different stories. Most of us speak different languages. We communicate mainly in English but I grew up in an Italian/French household, Checho is Latino, Redo is Dutch, Tommy and Kujo are the two Americans. We didn’t know each other prior to when ILL-Abilities was formed. I had the opportunity to meet/work with members individually and told them about my idea and then we ran with it.

At the end of the day ILL-Abilities is a learning experience for all of us. This is a unique project that has never been done before and each experience and event is completely different. A lot of the time we don’t even know what we are really getting ourselves into. Also ideas and plans can change in an instant, so we have to adapt to every situation together. We all have put in a lot of our time, effort, and dedication to bring the crew to where it’s at today. Without this it would never have happened. We are all building something ‘ILL’ for the world of Hip Hop, dance, and disability. We are just learning along the way.

When we were dancing individually we never really thought about dance and disability together. Dance was just something we did, we never really put focus or energy on our disabilities. It wasn’t until we came together and started sharing our stories through the media, and in our performances that we realised the positive effect dance had on our confidence and independence. That is why as a crew we now teach integrated inclusive dance programmes to promote the idea that everyone CAN dance. I believe that as long as our hearts are beating – we are creating a rhythm within our bodies – and we are dancing. You just need to allow your body to dance with you. That’s the spiritual side in me coming out.

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Animated: Autumn 2013