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Luca Patuelli

Spotlight On: Luca “Lazylegz” Patuelli, Breakdancing Sensation

“No excuses, no limits.” That’s the philosophy behind everything that Luca “Lazylegz” Patuelli lives by every day. Born with arthrogryposis, a rare muscle disorder that limits motion in the joints, Luca has never let his condition slow him down. Discovering his passion for breakdancing at the age of 15, Luca created the “ILL-Abilities” crew, a group of dancers who all overcome physical limitations. We’re excited to put the spotlight on Luca today:

What inspired you to want to be a speaker?

I believe we all learn from each other and we all have stories, so being given the opportunity share my story is something I am passionate about.

Any advice for aspiring speakers?

Picture everyone in their underwear… 🙂 No, that never works (LOL). I think the most important thing is to be honest with your audience — be yourself, have fun, and breathe!

What do you like to leave audiences with?

Energy! I want my audience to leave with the idea of “No Excuses, No Limits!” I want people to understand that we all have to power to do anything we want, our own way!

How do you prepare before a talk? Any special rituals? A good luck talisman?

I tie and untie my shoelaces twice. I do push-ups, stretch, and do a couple breathing exercises to make sure I am warm and flexible on stage.

Do you have an especially memorable event you can tell us about?

It’s tough because all events are memorable. I know it sounds cliché, but there is something that I take home with me after every performance. One cool story is someone in Halifax got a tattoo of “No Excuses, No Limits,” after seeing my performance.

Any funny or embarrassing situations you found yourself in as a speaker?

It happens often. I’ll try new jokes and my timing is off so the audience doesn’t laugh. I did have one time I invited someone on stage and he out-danced me in front of everyone, I was a bit embarrassed!

Is there a charitable cause that you feel passionate about? Why?

I am passionate about teaching dance to others. My wife Melissa and our partner Marie-Elaine Patenaude have created a program Projet RAD where we renovate dance studios to make them accessible and offer specialized dance programs for people of all abilities. We believe everyone can dance.

I am also the National Ambassador of Muscular Dystrophy Canada. I am passionate about MDC because they are a national organization that is more of a family for people with neuromuscular disorders (like myself) than anything else.

If you had to choose a new career, what would it be?

I’ve always wanted to be a pilot.

Desert island album?

Bob Marley.

Best subject in school?

Recess.

Last book you read?

David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell.

Last film you saw?

Wolf of Wall Street.

Celebrity crush?

Female: Liv Taylor.

Male: George Clooney.