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Video My Dance Journey | Eric Graise
02:30   |   832K+ views   |   today at 05:18


  • Hello, my name is Eric Graise
  • and this is my dance journey.
  • My disability has always been part of my life.
  • I was born with a missing bone in both of my legs,
  • the fibula,
  • and I had them amputated when I was a small kid.
  • Being a double-leg amputee, you hear a lot of things.
  • You have a lot of people who have a lot of opinions
  • about what you can do and what you can't do.
  • But when I was a little kid, I used to jump around
  • and move around my room, especially to music,
  • but I had no idea I was dancing.
  • So, I would spend years watching YouTube videos,
  • um, watching "So You Think You Can Dance,"
  • and I would just, honestly, I would just cry.
  • You know, it was the one thing
  • that I thought I wouldn't be able to do well,
  • or at least eventually strive to do well,
  • and that's important to me as an artist.
  • So, while I was a theater major,
  • one of my professors wanted to show me a video
  • and there was an amputee.
  • And he wasn't wearing prosthetics
  • and the characters and the movement in it
  • all centered around him and his movement
  • and how he interacted in the world.
  • Oh, man, it blew my mind.
  • So, after I graduate college,
  • I audition for a company entitled Full Radius Dance.
  • And they are an integrated dance company
  • with people with disabilities
  • and people who don't have disabilities.
  • I took a chance and they took a chance on me,
  • and you know, here I am today,
  • and it's been amazing.
  • They honestly changed my life.
  • I wouldn't be sitting here today if it wasn't
  • for that company.
  • I spent so much time trying to imitate people
  • who weren't disabled.
  • But I learned that I could live in it and love myself
  • and show the world, like, who I am
  • and not be afraid to do that.
  • That's when the door sort of opened up.
  • That's when everything started to make sense
  • and that's when I got the call for "Step Up."
  • It was for a character named King
  • and he was this disabled character
  • who was a DJ, a singer, a rapper,
  • um, all these different things,
  • and just, it was totally reflective of my life,
  • which is crazy.
  • I thought I'd never see anything that was written
  • for me with such detail.
  • It was really a dream
  • come true.
  • ♪♪
  • ♪♪

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A double leg amputee from a young age, Eric Graise always saw dance as something just beyond his reach— until a teacher sent him a video that changed his outlook and his opportunities forever. Check out Eric in the new YouTube Red Original Series, STEP UP: HIGH WATER.

Photo by Bubba Carr, provided courtesy of Full Radius Dance

YouTube Red Originals - If you live outside the United States, Mexico, New Zealand, Australia or Korea, click here for more details on availability in your country:


Step Up High Water Step Up High Water Step Up Series Step Up Step Up Original Series YouTube YouTube Originals YouTube Original Series YouTube Red Original Series Channing Tatum Dance Hip Hop Naya Rivera Ne Yo ATL Atlanta Hip Hop Dance Petrice Jones Lauren McClain Jade Chynoweth Carlito Olivero Kendra Oyesanya Marcus Mitchell Eric Graise Jenna Dewan Tatum

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