ted:

Adrianne Haslet-Davis dances again for the first time since the Boston terrorist attack last year. 

When the bombs went off at the Boston Marathon finish line, Adrianne Haslet-Davis lost the lower half of her left leg in the explosion. She’s a ballroom dance teacher, and she assumed she would never dance again. With most prosthetics, she wouldn’t.

But Hugh Herr, of the MIT Media Lab, wanted to find a way to help her. He created a bionic limb specifically for dancers, studying the way they move and adapting the limb to fit their motion. (He explains how he did it here.)

At TED2014, Adrianne danced for the first time since the attack, wearing the bionic limb that Hugh created for her.  

Hugh says, “It was 3.5 seconds between the bomb blasts in the Boston terrorist attack. In 3.5 seconds, the criminals and cowards took Adrianne off the dance floor. In 200 days, we put her back. We will not be intimidated, brought down, diminished, conquered or stopped by acts of violence.”

Amen to that, Hugh. 

Watch the full talk and performance here »

You meet a lot of people around the world and you look at it and think, “Oh, okay… Better put my back into that.” It’s not getting better. In many cases it’s getting worse. You know, there’s that great film out there 12 Years A Slave and you go, “Hm, well, it’s still here,” and slavery is on the rise. It’s on the rise! And you go, “How did that happen? How did we let that happen? How have we managed to drop the ball quite so spectacularly?” You know? And to pretend it’s not happening, it’s an unqualified disaster and failure. Failure of political will- it’s a failure. We have failed. We have failed this generation. I’m just interested in that now because I’m old enough to have seen and heard a lot.