Luca “Lazylegz” Patuelli entertained and educated students at all of Needham’s public elementary schools this week as part of a rousing and inspiring kick-off to the Understanding our Different Abilities program.
Luca was born with Arthrogryposis, a rare disorder that causes limited joint movement and poor muscle growth and later diagnosed with scoliosis. Despite many surgeries to address these issues, Luca has never let his disability prevent him from doing the activities he loves including swimming, diving, skiing, and horseback riding. After a leg surgery prevented him from continuing skateboarding, he was introduced to breakdancing. Using his upper body strength to create a unique style of dancing, “Lazylegz” was born. Since then, Luca has become a world-renowned break-dancer. In 2007, Luca created ILL-Abilities™, an international dance crew of differently-abled dancers. Their goal is to show the world that as long as you are positive, creative, and willing to adapt to any situation, anything is possible. Together, they perform all over the world, spreading the message “No Excuses, No Limits.” Luca has appeared on the Ellen DeGeneres Show, America’s Got Talent, and So You Think You Can Dance Canada as the world’s first and only dancer with a disability to make it into Finals Week.
According to grant writer, Suzanne Lissy, “Luca embodies the message we bring to our kids through the Understanding our Different Abilities program; that we are all unique and different and that is what makes us the same.”