Noah Galloway may not be among the well-known celebrity contestants on Dancing With the Stars, but the army vet and motivational speaker has one of the ballroom’s most inspirational stories. Galloway, 33, a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, lost two limbs in an I.E.D. attack less than a week before Christmas in 2005. After enduring depression and the onset of unhealthy habits, Galloway decided to take a positive approach to his life.
Galloway is a personal trainer and a sought-after public personality. As People magazine put it, Galloway may be one of the “most active” of this year’s DWTS celebrities, despite the loss of his left arm and left leg. He competes in challenging competitions such as Spartan events, Tough Mudders, and marathons.
He will be getting some help on Dancing With the Stars from a high-tech prosthetic limb, as he told Access Hollywood during an appearance with his professional partner Sharna Burgess. His prosthetic leg has a knee with five different settings. Later in the season, Galloway may use a prosthetic arm as well. But the technology has its limits. When it comes to an impressive dance performance, Galloway and Burgess are on their own.
Galloway admitted it’s taking some time for him to feel at ease in the ballroom.
“What I struggle with is just the performing side. [Sharna] said, ‘Will you at least try to look like you’re enjoying dancing with me?’ That’s what I feel like I need to work on, relaxing. She has said I’m not expected to look like a professional dancer the first week, but I’m a perfectionist. I want to do as well as I can.”
Burgess gushed about working with Galloway. She sees their partnership as about possibilities and not limitations.
“There are just so many possibilities for us. We’ve been saying from the beginning, it’s not about what we can’t do, but more about what we can. That’s just a little piece of I’m really excited and truly blessed to have him [as a partner] this season.”
According to his official website, Galloway recently started the No Excuses Charitable Fund, which supports organizations such as the YMCA of his hometown of Alabaster, Alabama, and Operation Enduring Warrior.
Galloway will have his work cut out for him to get the Dancing With the Stars mirror ball trophy. He will be competing against well-known names such as musician Patti LaBelle and 70s sitcom star Suzanne Somers. Rumer Willis, daughter of actors Bruce Willis and Demi Moore, is also competing, as is Shark Tank investor Robert Herjavec.
Dancing With the Stars airs Monday nights on ABC.
[Noah Galloway image courtesy of Getty]