Blind Chesterfield dancer shows off breakin' moves on Strictly - It Takes Two
A blind teenager from Chesterfield has appeared on BBC's Strictly - It Takes Two show.
Crispin Gell, aged 16, who lost his sight when he was six due to hereditary glaucoma and aniridia, showcased his breakin’ moves with his teacher, Nathan Geering, in a special slot on the Strictly Come Dancing companion programme.
A student at Royal National College for the Blind in Hereford, Nathan said Crispin has gone from ‘strength to strength’ since starting dancing a year and a half ago – albeit reluctantly.
Nathan, a Sheffield-based charity director who runs Rationale Arts in the city, teaches breakin’ to the visually impaired as a means of injury prevention and to improve spatial awareness.
Music activists have been using term ‘breakin’ instead of breakdance which is often used commercially to refer to the dance art form.
Nathan said: “At first, he didn't want anything to do with dancing, he didn’t like it because he never really tried it.
“But then one day, he came in for work experience but there wasn't any opportunity. So I brought him to one of my dance classes, he took part and he got hooked.
“Since then, not only has he learned breakin on a professional level, he has also gone on to perform on various showcases and protests.
“And now he's on national TV, all in a year of dancing. It's been pretty great. Now he's considering a career in dancing. It's a complete turnaround.”
Nathan said Crispin had a great experience shooting the BBC show.
An artistic director, Nathan is renowned for working with the visually impaired since he made dance accessible for people with visual impairment by creating a beatbox sounds system as a form of instruction.
He said although the shooting took one full day at the college, Crispin showed no signs of fatigue.
“He was told to take a break but he’s like an athlete now. To him, it’s just easy. Others would easily get out of breath, but he’s like ready to go. He’s great,” he said.
The feature was shown on Strictly – It Takes Two on BBC Two yesterday, Wednesday, December 16, at 6.30pm.