They’ve experienced amputation, birth defects, deafness and cancer, but the b-boys of ILL-Abilities are good. Really good. Hailing from Canada, Chile, Holland and the U.S., they’re as talented a hip-hop crew as any of their able-bodied peers in the biz, yet the ILL dancers (taking the “dis” out of “disability”) have chosen to highlight their “no excuses, no limits” mantra by sharing their disabilities with audiences.
In this video, each b-boy’s crowd-wowing performance is accompanied by his voiceover. Each describes facing challenges that would have sidelined many a determined artist or athlete. For some ILL members, dance was a way to overcome feeling different. Others were aspiring dancers who refused to give up their goals when faced with illness. “It’s about taking the bad and making it good,” says Luca "Lazylegz" Patuelli, who was born with a joint disorder and can do some pretty sweet tricks with his crutches. Then there’s Jacob "Kujo" Lyons, who gets the onstage DJ and the audience clapping so he—a deaf dancer—can “see the beat.” You know what? Just watch. And don’t quit before the end. The final cipher is incredible.