Health

My journey to dance again: CNN report on Adrianne Haslet-Davis

Posted by: Kate Torgovnick May

Adrianne Haslet-Davis performs the rumba at the end of Hugh Herr’s talk, “The new bionics that let us run, climb, dance.” Normally, this would not be a big deal for a professional ballroom dance teacher. But Haslet-Davis lost her left foot in the Boston Marathon bombing in April 2013. This rumba was her first public performance since the attack, and it was made possible by a new bionic leg designed by Herr’s team at the MIT Media Lab.

In his talk, Herr tells us how he met Haslet-Davis at a rehab hospital, and shares the complicated process of designing a bionic limb with the mechanics of dance built into it. But he didn’t have much time to share her story. That’s why we’re glad to hear that Haslet-Davis will be the subject of CNN Special Report: The Survivor Diaries, airing Tuesday, April 8This hour-long documentary follows Haslet-Davis starting one month after the attack, as she learns to walk on her first prosthetic limb. In video diaries, Haslet-Davis and her husband reveal their hardest moments — like coping with her PTSD-induced fear, and discussing whether they’d want prosecutors to pursue the death penalty for bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

Herr will, of course, make an appearance. In the preview, he explains to Haslet-Davis that her bionic leg has three computers inside it and watches proudly as she gives Anderson Cooper a dance lesson.

“I’m not suffering,” says Haslet-Davis in the preview. “I’m thriving.”

Watch the CNN Special Report: The Survivor Diaries on Tuesday, April 8, at 10pm EDT.

Watch Haslet-Davis dance for the first time in a TED Talk »