Disabled Dancer David Toole Dies at 56
Disabled dancer David Toole has died from cardiac arrest at the age of 56, according to The New York Times, on Oct. 16. Toole is best known for his performance at the opening ceremony of the 2012 Summer Paralympics and had worked with the Royal Shakespeare Company. Toole was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 2020 for his contributions to dance and the disability community.
Toole was born with sacral agenesis, a rare birth condition that caused his legs and lower spine to be underdeveloped. At 18 months, Toole’s legs were amputated. The New York Times reported Toole was sick during the year leading up to his death.
Friends and fans responded to Toole’s death and his impact on social media and offered condolences.
in loving memory of
David Toole, Disabled Dancer With Grace in His Hands. He Died at 56
He learned to dance expressively long after his legs were amputated. A premier disabled performer on stages around the world, he opened the 2012 London Paralympics. pic.twitter.com/scOHKpdgSO
— Christos Xanthakis (@ChristosXanthak) November 11, 2020
I only met Dave a couple of times and his love for Prosecco left an impression. David Toole, Disabled Dancer With Grace in His Hands, Dies at 56 – The New York Times https://t.co/KZc2kdCcUh
— Louise Hickman (@_louhicky) November 11, 2020
Outwardly he’d grump about this, inwardly he’d be proud. Love you Kev xx https://t.co/U6diIECGW9
— Nickie Miles-Wildin (@knockback78) November 11, 2020
Toole’s family has started a GoFundMe to raise money to support disabled performers in Toole’s honor. Proceeds will go to Unlimited, an arts commissioning program in the United Kingdom.
Image via Twitter/Christos Xanthakis