Every week that Iraq veteran Noah Galloway takes to the ‘DWTS’ stage, he obliterates the perception of what the word ‘handicapped’ means. He is proving that you don’t need both of your arms and your legs to be an astounding and brilliantly inspired dancer.
‘DWTS’: Noah Galloway’s Dancing Is Absolutely Incredible
Noah’s dance to the anthem “American Soldier” by Toby Keith, 53, was a testament to his service to America in Iraq, where Noah was the victim of a roadside bombing.
All of the DWTS contestants had been asked to perform a dance based on a life-changing year for themselves. Noah remembered 2005, the year when he was on his second tour of duty in Iraq and almost lost his life, along with his two limbs.
It was a year when the physical devastation of those injuries almost led to a full emotional breakdown. Depression resulted in isolation, heavy drinking and days when he never left the house. Thankfully, as Noah, 33, explained on the show: “One day I realized I wasn’t being a good father or a good person. I needed to quit focusing on what I lost and concentrate on what I have left.”
It’s an understatement to say that Noah has focused on what he has left. Between his dedication to physical fitness and strength training and his gentle grace, Noah has redefined what it means to be a brilliant dancer.
Judge Carrie Ann Inaba, 47, put it best when, for the very first time, she watched Noah dance on the season’s debut show: “It was profound…you’ve broadened my scope of what dance looks like,” she said. “Witnessing this, my heart is still beating.”
Noah, she’s absolutely right. You and partner Sharna, along with her inventive choreography, are changing the way the judges and audience think about what dance is, every week now. Sharna takes advantage of your impressive strength to show off astounding one-hand lifts and rollovers — as in, you roll her over around your body with one hand. She uses your muscled chest and arms as a living prop and shape-maker.
‘Dancing With The Stars’ Contestant Noah Galloway Brings The Intensity
You are like a beautiful statue come to life with deep beauty and emotion. It all adds up to hugely powerful performances — a different version of dance than the show has ever seen.
Last year, DWTS rose to the challenge of showcasing snowboarder and ParaOlympic bronze medalist Amy Purdy, 35, who lost both her feet to bacterial meningitis and uses prosthetic feet. Purdy’s elegant and athletic dancing, which took her all the way to the DWTS finale with partner Derek Hough, 29, had expanded the show’s boundaries already.
But Noah’s injuries left him without a left knee joint, limiting his range of motion and making it even more challenging for he and Sharna to compete. That’s why his dance work is so impressive.
Noah is demonstrating, in a very driven quest to inspire others, that almost any physical challenge can be overcome. If there’s a will, there’s a way to dance, and to love it!
Thanks for being such an impressive role model, Noah!
— Bonnie Fuller