“I was told I would never be able to walk, yet alone dance,” says Luca “Lazylegz” Patuelli, founder of international dance crew ILL-Abilities, who will be performing at Lytham Festival ahead of Kylie Minogue and hosting a free street dance workshop in Cleveleys this month.
The Canadian, who performed at the opening ceremony of the Paralympic Games in Vancouver, is excited about flying to the UK with his dance crew, who hail from countries including Brazil, USA, Korea, the Netherlands and Chile, as part of Access Fylde Coast’s initiative to address negative experiences across the district for residents and tourists with health or disability conditions.
The talented dancers, who have been nominated for an Olivier Award and seen as global influencers in breakdance and diversity, will bring their energetic and breath-taking moves to the stage to open the show for Kylie on Friday July 12 at Lytham Festival before hosting a free workshop at Cleveleys Plaza on July 13 from 12noon until 2pm.
“My father always taught me that your first failure is not to try,” says Luca, who runs inclusive dance workshops globally to inspire others not to place any limits on themselves and believes that dance is the ultimate form of self-expression that anyone can participate in their own way.
“When I’m practicing, I’m trying to give myself challenges of how can I drop down to the floor, dancing with the crutches but then finding a creative way of letting them go without just dropping them.
“I can be extremely tired, but the minute I walk into the class there’s this rush of adrenalin and then I kind of forget about it. If I have an idea for a move or for something that I want to learn,
I kind of just bring that into the classroom and often what’s really cool is that my students are teaching me just as much as I’m teaching them.”
Adds Luca, who discovered what hip-hop was all about when he moved to Montreal, “To me life is a dance; as long as our hearts are beating, a rhythm is being created. Sometimes it’s the slightest movements that make the biggest difference in a performance, just like in life; it’s the little things that matter.
“My whole life I was told I would never be able to walk, let alone dance. Today, I live my life to dance, I live to share my passion with others, and I live to encourage limitless possibilities by doing things our own way through the belief of NO EXCUSES, NO LIMITS.”
The FREE workshop from is inclusive to all ages, all abilities, and all different skill levels and ILL Abilities aim to help others build confidence to surpass their own limitations by discovering their own strengths and creative movements with the help from this remarkable troupe.
It is being hosted thanks to Access Fylde Coast, a pioneering project spearheaded by Blackpool charity Disability First and funded by the Coastal Communities Fund, aimed at boosting tourism, enhancing access for disabled people and breaking down the barriers of physical, sensory, mental health and learning disabilities.
Project manager Holly Whittaker says: “It is amazing to be working with ILL Abilities, they are incredibly talented and take audiences on a journey through the dancers’ battles with adversity, stereotypes, self-doubt, to finding the strength to overcome life’s struggles through dynamic movement and sheer determination.
“This is so important for us to try and break-down barriers of preconceptions and stereotypes of disability. Times have changed around equality, but in 2019 disability has still not caught up with other strands of diversity.
“You don’t have to be a dancer to join in this free workshop, but for those people who are dancers, it will be a fantastic opportunity to work with and be inspired by one of the world’s leading and influential street dance crews.”
“There is no need to book for the event, just turn up at Cleveleys Plaza at 12 noon and have fun.”
The Access Fylde Coast project is funded by the Coastal Communities Fund as part of a Government initiative to invest £250 million in our much-loved seaside areas by 2020 through dedicated programmes to help generate jobs and boost business.
The project is spearheaded by Blackpool charity Disability First.