Montreal B-boy Lazylegz holds it down at So You Think You Can Dance Canada [News]
Montreal, QC – Congratulations are in order for a long-time friend and supporter of HipHopCanada and one of the most inspiring people we know, Luca “Lazylegz” Patuelli. Lazylegz, who was born with a rare muscle disorder know as Arthrogryposis, just banged out a top notch performance at the So You Think You Can Dance Canada auditions in Montreal (it was aired today). The judges gave him very high praise and awarded him with plane tickets to the finals in Toronto. On top of that, last week in Orlando, Florida, he achieved a huge physical goal by walking 1 KM with no crutches or leg braces. More information, a video of this remarkable accomplishment, and footage of previous Lazylegz performances can be found after the jump.
Lazylegz’s 1 KM walk was completed in just under an hour which was his personal goal from the get go. The walk was dedicated to the Arthrogryposis Convention and he will be dedicating each following year to new cause or charity, while also increasing the distance he walks without the crutches or braces. The mentality of Mr. Patuelli can be best sumarized by the slogan on the t-shirts he’s also pushing: “No Excuses, No Limits”. BIG SHOUT OUT!
About Luca “Lazylegz” Patuelli
Luca “Lazylegz” Patuelli was born on July 28, 1984 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. He was born with Arthrogryposis (multiplex congenital), which is a rare muscle disorder that limits motion in the joints. Typically, this rare disorder can affect any part of the body but fortunately in Luca’s case, it affects primarily his legs. At the age of 8, he was also diagnosed with scoliosis, a condition that affects the curvature of the spine. By the time Luca was 13, his spine had a 60˚ curvature, resulting in immediate surgery, where 8 of his vertebrae were fused and a titanium rod was inserted alongside the spine. Luca has had a total of 16 surgeries on his legs and spine. While growing up in Bethesda, Maryland (a suburb outside of Washington D.C) Luca never let his disability slow him down; actively participating in “normal” everyday activities such as swimming, diving, skiing, horseback riding, sailing and skateboarding too.
In 1999 at the age of 15, a knee surgery left Luca unable to pursue his passion and potential career as a professional skateboarder. This put him in a position to discover his newfound interest in “B-boying” also known as Breakdancing. Noting his muscular arms and natural athleticism, Luca’s friends knew he would do well in this extremely dynamic activity. They took him to his first breakdance show/competition. Shortly after that “Lazylegz” was born.
When Lazylegz first started Breakin’ he had some trouble learning and did not understand why he could not do the same moves as his friends. After becoming more comfortable with his body he began to learn new moves and slowly created his own style. Though, initially it was not easy for him; he had a series of severe injuries including a concussion, sprained wrist, ankle and even a broken leg. These injuries did not block Lazy’s path.
In 2002, after recovering from his broken leg, Luca graduated from BCC High School in Bethesda, MD and moved back to Montreal, QC. That was where he began to learn the secrets of the vast, evolving street culture that helped form his greater appreciation of the true hip-hop Culture. His massive impact on the Montreal dance community began when Lazylegz represented Canada at top level events such as Freestyle Sessions 8, City vs. City 5, Evolution 2, and many others. Through lots of hard work and dedication, Lazylegz developed a very unique style that incorporated both strength and crutches. Since 2004, his style was positively received in the worldwide Breakdance community giving him the opportunity to compete and perform all over the world.
In 2004, Lazylegz joined forces with Canadian breakdance crew, Illmatic Styles. Together they have performed and competed all over North America and were featured as one of the top 35 acts on NBC’s America’s Got Talent. Following their success, ILLMASK was created; a combination of the finest members of Illmatic Styles and Red Mask, another well known Canadian crew based in Montreal. ILLMASK has represented Canada in countless performances and events.
In 2007, Lazylegz came up with the idea of creating a “super” team of the world’s best disabled breakdancers, called ILL-Abilities Crew. The goal of the team was to show the world that as long as we are positive, creative, and willing to adapt ourselves to any situation, anything is possible. The crew currently consists of 5 “ill-abled” dancers from Canada, USA, Chile, and Holland. Together, they have performed all over the world and they help to spread the message “No Excuses, No Limits”.
To date, Lazylegz has performed on stage with world-renowned artists such as Kanye West, Talib Kweli, K-OS, the Nappy Roots and many more. In 2007, he also made a brief appearance in the movie “Kickin’ It Old Skool”. As for television, he was featured on many different international media sources including Americas Got Talent, Much Music, MBC Korea, NTV Japan, CBC, NBC Today Show and many more. In Montreal, Luca has actively organized many breakdance events including internationally recognized ones, such as Pro-Am, City vs City (Team Montreal), & No Limits. In 2010, Lazylegz with ILLMASK were honoured to represent the world in their biggest performance to date at the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Opening Ceremonies. He starred in the “One inspires all” segment where a world record was broken for the biggest flash mob dance.
These past several years, Luca has dedicated his time to sharing an important message: “It’s about taking the bad and making it good”. He acknowledges that any situation, however bad it may seem, may be transformed into a positive one. As a child, his father always taught him that “your first failure is to not try”. He believes that life is about all the experiences that you have, even those you may dislike. Most importantly, Luca has learned that once you try, you will know what drives you. Luca’s draws his inspiration from many different people and strongly believes that we all learn from each other. Luca has spoken and inspired thousands of audiences of all ages and all abilities around the world.
Recently, Luca has been teaching Dance at schools for children with disabilities. In the spring of 2010 he co-produced an adapted integrated dance version of the Wizard of Oz at the MacKay Centre School in Montreal, QC. He is also responsible for creating the J.C Stylez Crew at école Joseph Charbonneau where a group of students are currently practicing and performing Breakin’ on a regular basis and are the future for ILL-Abilities.
In 2009, after pursuing his studies for seven years, Luca finally graduated from Concordia University with a major in Marketing. Today, Luca “Lazylegz” Patuelli wishes to bring his B-boying career to a higher level of strength, power, skill and ingenuity. Using his marketing degree to promote himself, he eagerly anticipates his future speaking and performance engagements to motivate individuals and prove that really; “It’s about taking the bad and making it good”.
Lazylegz in Action
Don’t forget to check out http://lazylegz.com.