"Adapt, stay positive,
and learn to do
things your own way."
Luca “Lazylegz” Patuelli has lived by this motto his whole life. Born with Arthrogryposis, a neuromuscular disorder affecting the bones and joints of the body, he has undergone a total of 16 surgeries since he was 7 months old to support his legs, hips, spine, and shoulders. Despite facing physical challenges, Luca learned at an early age about the power of adapting positively to any situation. Always wanting to stay active and join his friends in any activity, he devised creative adaptations that enabled him to participate activities such as soccer, football, and baseball. He also succeeded in learning how to rock climb, surf, and ski. He found ways that enabled him to join his high school swim and dive teams. As he explored the full gamut of physical activities, skateboarding developed into a particular passion for him. At 15 years old, Luca was introduced to breakdancing (Bboying/Bgirling). Immediately, he was attracted to the music, the culture and, of course, to the challenging movements. He slowly began creating a unique style that advantaged his upper body strength. By using his crutches as extensions of his arms, Bboy Lazylegz was born!
Over the past 13 years, Lazylegz has developed his career as a professional dancer by competing and performing in a wide variety of international dance events such as Breakin’ Convention, Freestyle Session, IBE, R16, Circle Prinz, World of Dance and Hip Hop International. With growing notoriety, he has had opportunities to appear on both Canadian and American media, including appearances on the Ellen Degeneres Show, So You Think You Can Dance Canada, The Today Show, America’s Got Talent, Tout le Monde en Parle, Star Académie, TF-1 and Paul O’Grady. A few years ago, just as his dancing reached a new peak in maturity and his message gained momentum, Lazylegz was given the honour of both headlining and being Segment Director for the 2010 Paralympic Opening Ceremonies. This world-wide coverage led to an invitation the following year from the Théâtre National de Chaillot in Paris, France to join the cast of Montalvo-Hervieu’s production of Orphée as a lead dancer. Overall, Laylegz has toured the world, performing and inspiring in over 22 countries. He remains an active presence on the international stage as the current National Youth Dance Ambassador for the Canadian Dance Assembly.
With dancing clearly part of his identity, Luca “Lazylegz” Patuelli wanted to see how far he could truly grow. In 2009, he graduated from Montreal’s Concordia University with a Bachelor’s degree in Business and a Major in Marketing. Combining his passion for dance with his knowledge of engaging the masses, he has become a strong advocate for inclusion and integration as he aims to bring people of all abilities together through the power of dance. He created ILL-Abilities, an international Bboy crew comprised of some of the world’s best differently-abled dancers. Together, they have choreographed several theatrical dance productions acknowledged by the Society of London Theatre. As a result, ILL-Abilities received a nomination for Outstanding Achievement in Dance for the 2013 Olivier Awards.
Whether it is through his own dancing, his choreography or his entrepreneurial character, Luca has become a leader for both dancers and people living with special needs. I addition to his busy schedule, Lazylegz also co-founded RAD Movement, formally known as Projet RAD, an inclusive urban dance program for youth with disabilities. In 2015, David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, recognized Luca along with partners Melissa Emblin and Marie-Elaine Patenaude with a Meritorious Service Medal for their dedication and commitment in creating a more inclusive society for people with disabilities.
The past few years have been exciting for Luca "Lazylegz" Patuelli and his drive to share the power of adaption and his passion for dance with the world continues to grow. As a loving husband to wife Melissa Emblin and devoted father to his daughters Aura Isabella and Luna Valentina, he is committed to helping his children grow up in a society where people of all abilities can come together and share their passions despite their differences.