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ILL-Abilities prove anything's possible

It was one of the highlights of ILL-Abilities performance on Wednesday night.

During their show, the four members of the international breakdancing crew pulled an Alberta boy on stage with them. He was in Halifax to see his grandparents —a request granted by the Children's Wish Foundation.

"He came to our show for hope, he is a child with Cystic Fibrosis," said Luca (Lazylegs) Patuelli, the founding member of ILL-Abilities.

"We took him up on stage and taught him to dance, and when he got off stage you could see a shine in his eyes and how happy he was. The crowd gave him the largest applause of the night."

Helping to show people that anything is possible is one of the messages Patuelli and the rest of the group has been sharing with the city this week during the Halifax International Busker Festival.

Each of the b-boys has taken their physical limitations, and created their own unique breakdancing style. In the b-boy culture, there are a lot of super crews where they take the best dancers from other teams — and I decided to take the best disabled dancers," said Patuelli.

The Montreal-based dancer was born with a rare muscular disorder, arthogryposis, which affects his mobility.

The other members of the group include Chile's Sergio (Checho) Carvajal, who was born with a major malformation of his lower body, Tommy (Tommy Guns) Ly, who had his right leg amputated because of cancer, and Jacob (Kujo) Lyons, who is nearly completely deaf.

"It's been liberating," said Lyons. "I have been dancing for 16 years, and breakdancing professionally for 11 years, without ever making any excuses for not being able to hear the music.

"It was not something I was trying to hide, but it was not something I'd wear on my sleeve. So, being in this group, forces me to come out with it, to wear it on my sleeve, to advertise it so to speak, and let people know this is who I am and this is why I dance the way I do."

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