'DWTS' Paralympian Amy Purdy: Finding Grace on the Dance Floor

The double amputee talks about overcoming the challenges of dancing with prosthetic limbs.
6:23 | 04/14/14

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Transcript for 'DWTS' Paralympian Amy Purdy: Finding Grace on the Dance Floor
If you're watching dancing with the stars tonight, you saw her, the contestant who has had to overcome so much not only to get to the dance floor but also to move around on it. Very little could hold back a force of nature like Amy. And David rice takes us behind the scenes. ♪ Tonight on ABC's dancing with the stars, a Cinderella story. This year's sentimental favorite dancing a waltz. I love the dance this week. It's a girl's dream come true. You have to look closely to know she has had to overcome more than any other contestant. Trying to be graceful when it goes heel toe like that is challenging. But we figured staying low and staying on my toes a little bit more. She is a double amputee. Having two prosthetic legs is a challenge. It's kind of like I am on stilts. One piece of carbon fiber. That's never stopped her. On the slopes at sochi, she won a bronze medal for snow boarding in the paralympic games. Which is harder? The competition in sochi or here? ♪ The competition on the dance floor, an olympic champion took the gold for ice dancing. Is it pair to pit you against an olympic ice dancer? No. On the dance floor she not only has to summon the power and control, and grace as well. ♪ and rhythm. The human foot has bones and muscles and can balance back and forth. If you step and make a mistake, you foot can compensate. But if I step in the wrong spot, my foot isn't going to compensate. Those feet were not made for dancing. It looks like they are Barbie feet. They don't look like they could stand upright naturally. I read an article that said she's part transformer and part mannequin. I say I'm a femme bot. She has had to improviimprovise. I went with a swimming foot. It's made for swimming so we could put a flipper on. I could stand up on them and get the lines that we wanted. The core yak if I not just the disguising her weaknesses but playing her strengths. She was 19 when she lost her legs and her kidney function after contracting bacterial meningitis. Within 24 hours of my first flu-like symptoms I was given less than a 2% chance of living. I lost both of my legs because my body went into septic shock and that's also why I lost my kidney function. Her dad gave her a kidney. I remember standing up on my legs the first time. They were so painful and confining. They didn't move and I thought how am I going to walk in these? How am I going to run and do all of this stuff? Home from the hospital, she got carried away by a song. She was dancing before she was walking. A father daughter dance like no other. A story she and her partner reenacted in the third week of dancing with the stars. ♪ What I love so much about the contemporary dance that we did was that people got to see more of my story and see who helped me through this journey and also feel empowered by it. That's what this dance was about. It was not to make people sad, it is to show that you can be in the depth of dispair and find your way to the top. And express that. A thing of beauty borne from the pain of starting over. Her father wasn't the only person in tears. There won't be a dry eye in the country. He had tears rolling town his face and how proud of her he was, it was an honor and privilege to have been able to have the opportunity to be a part of that. The point for her is to rise above the concept of disability all together. It's all about perspective and how we look at ourselves. I have never looked at myself as if I have lost anything. If anything I have gained. Whether she's dancing the cha cha, or salsa, or even the waltz, there's always a little magic involved. Having prosthetic legs, they move in a way that are not graceful. So if I can accomplish grace on these legs, I'm already a winner. It's like freedom. Sicinderella herself in the glass slippers couldn't do any better.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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