Break dancing in a wheelchair: one man’s triumph over adversity

After losing his leg in a car accident, one Russian man is determined to prove that his condition does not prevent him from doing the thing he enjoys most.

Dancing has long been a way for people to express themselves; it is fun for all ages and regardless of your ability.

Break dancing is impressive at the best of times. However, in Saint Petersburg Maksim Sedakov has taken it to a whole new level, with more than just a few difficult dance steps to overcome.

Maksim participates in various forms of dance, and his ability is all the more impressive because he has learnt to perform his moves not just in a wheelchair, but in a country where provisions for the disabled are in rather short supply.

“In 1994, I got into a car accident, and as a result I lost my leg,” Sedakov told RT. “I spent a long time in hospital and I used a wheelchair a lot while there, and I learnt from other kids how to use it, how to go upstairs.”

Maxim Sedakov then tells how his career in dance happened.

“Then I became a student at the Centre Dynamics School, which is the school I now work for,” he says. “While I was there, a lady paid us a visit and asked me whether I would try dance. And I said yes of course, because I am full of energy. That is how I started.”

Since then, he has never looked back. Maxim, together with his coach and dance partner, Elena Lasko, went on to win the World Championship in Wheelchair Dance, and have competed in competitions around the world.

“I know that Maxim has always liked dancing,” Lasko says. “When we met, we decided that we wanted to compete in tournaments. So we made our first steps which brought us to what we are doing now.”

Maksim and Elena are not the only ones breaking down barriers – from TV advertisements depicting talented dancers in wheelchairs, to Aaron Fotheringham, who performed the world’s first ever wheelchair back flip – these people provide great motivation to other people with disabilities.

“The most important thing is to have a trust in oneself, in one’s own abilities, and not to take it seriously if people sometimes say to you that you cannot do certain things,” Maxim explains. “You need to put these things out of your head, because you can do so much more than you think – like dance.”

The achievements of Maxim, and many others like him, show that regardless of a person’s situation, it is still possible to achieve your dreams.