Just a heads up. Dancing With The Stars Season 18 Runner-up Amy Purdy will not only be reporting for the 2016 Paralympics In Rio, Brazil, she’s also dancing solo in the opening on September 7th. Below is part of an interview with the Summit Daily that I thought was such an interesting read being there are lots of mentions on Dancing With The Stars and how her solo dance is being put together. I’m so so proud of this Girl….
Summit Daily News: You two just returned from Rio a few weeks ago. What were you doing down there?
Amy Purdy: To choreograph this dance for the opening ceremony at the Paralympic Games. We were working with an incredible choreographer, Cassie (Abranches), and she came out in March to see if I was a good fit for the performance the producers wanted for the opening ceremony. I realized that if I’m going to do this, I’m going to need help. I reached out to Jessica, who’s in Summit, and she helped choreograph my wedding dance I did with my husband last year. He found her because he wanted some dance lessons before our wedding and she was willing to help with that first dance.
SDN: What kind of dance are you doing for the opening ceremony?
AP: It’s pretty spectacular, I’ll say. It’s a contemporary dance, and it’s pretty scary for me because it’s really outside of my comfort zone. I did “Dancing with the Stars,” but I always had a partner, and if you forget the dance for a split second they can pick you back up. They’re also great for balance.
They were also very short dances — like a minute and a half — and this one is about four minutes long. It’s very long, very complicated, and I actually switch legs a few times during the dance. It’s built into the choreography.
SDN: What type of feet are you using?
AP: I’m in running blades, which aren’t made for dancing, and also feet that are made for swimming. There really aren’t any feet made for dancing, but if I can pull it off it will be a very powerful performance. They’ve composed music for it — this theatrical, powerful music that is just perfect for an opening ceremony. They put so much time into creating new music for this dance, and, even though I can’t talk about all the details, it’s about the relationship between the human spirit — the human body — and technology. That’s what the Paralympics is all about: how technology and the human spirit connect.
SDN: How does a dance performance compare to Olympic competition? You’re no stranger to the spotlight on the snow, but this is your first solo dance performance.
AP: It’s very similar. When you’re at the Paralympics, you know that this is your one shot. Everything leads up to that one moment. The world is watching, and that was the most pressure I’d ever been in.
Then I went to “Dancing with the Stars” and it was like the Paralympics every week. You have to nail a single minute of performance every week. The pressure is huge, but, like everything else I’ve done, you can’t focus on everyone else. You have to shut off everything else, and if you make a mistake you pull yourself together. I do my best to shut out the unnecessary chatter in my brain: how stressful this is, how scary this is, how many people are watching. It’s the purpose, and that purpose is to show what the possibilities can be with these legs. That’s really what it’s all about.
That’s not to say it’s not scary…
SDN: Did you ever think you’d have the chance to dance at an opening ceremony?
AP: No, not once. We had up to 18 million people watching “Dancing with the Stars,” but this is an international stage. Maybe not every country is tuning in, but just about the whole world is tuning in. It takes what I’ve done in the past and takes it to a whole new level. It’s a solo dance, again, and this I my opportunity to show people that, yes, I can do this on my own for a solid four minutes. It’s a challenge, but it’s nothing I’m not used to.