The dance floor is one place I have never fallen. I’ve come close, but I have managed to win every fight that the ground picked with me. Take that, gravity. Dance has been an adventure ever since I started it six years ago. Ballroom dance is a challenge for anyone who does it, but people rarely see what it’s like for someone in a wheelchair. Here are six secrets from the world of wheelchair ballroom dancing.

  1. You Don’t Need Legs, You need Physics

“But how do you dance without…Y’know…-nervously gestures down to my legs-” I’m glad you asked. I could…


I try not to swear at my phone in public. If I do, it’s because of a hurling match. Hurling is the greatest sport that you probably haven’t heard of if you’re not from Ireland. Hurling comes from a group of sports called Gaelic games, sports made by and for Irish people. Hurling is a full-contact sport, played between two teams of fifteen. Each player has a wooden stick called a hurley, which looks like a thicker, more massive hockey stick. Players wear no protection except for a helmet. During the game, players run around a large rectangular pitch, trying…


So, you’re thinking about visiting Ireland. Why not start at my neck of the woods? I’m talking about the heart of Gaelic country, the City of the Tribes, the beautiful city of Galway. Ireland has many beautiful sights and sounds, and a fascinating history. Having lived here for almost a year, I know from experience. I also know from experience that getting around in a wheelchair can be tricky. Galway has the environment of a big city, but is relatively small and compact. So, if accessibility is the name of your game, Galway should be at the top of your…


As a person in a wheelchair, people don’t tend to check out my ass. “What about man thongs?” you might ask. If sitting all day with an un-adjustable wedgie is your thing, then go for it. “What about skinny jeans?” I have two words for you: chicken ankles. My search for a way to show off my superior posterior is why at the age of 15, after obtaining a severe pressure sore, I accessorized in a way that no one could ignore.

Say hello to the Wound Vac!

The Wound Vac is a revolutionary system consisting of a car battery…


“I have passed with a nod of the head/or polite meaningless words/or have lingered a while and said/polite meaningless words.” These lines of Easter, 1916 capture Yeats’ dismissive attitude toward the rebels of the Easter Rising. However, there was one rebel whose relationship with Yeats was neither polite nor meaningless. Yeats’ seemingly unrelenting description of executed rebel John MacBride reads like a libel case waiting to happen, and it brings up many questions. Did W.B. Yeats intend to hurt the reputation of John MacBride? Even if he did, was what Yeats said in Easter, 1916 true? …


Over thirty million Americans claim Irish ancestry. Every year, people in cities across the United States get together on St. Patrick’s Day to celebrate their Irish heritage. They wear leprechaun clothing, drink green beer, and engage in other cliché expressions of Irishness. However, the average American knows little about Ireland. American inexperience with real Irish issues has serious consequences today. Irish American families face severe consequences because of Brexit, and the effect it will have on Ireland.

To understand the dangers that Brexit poses for Ireland, we need to talk about Irish history. In 1918, Irish Nationalists won the majority…


I use a wheelchair because I have spina bifida. Almost three years ago, I studied Irish Literature and History in Dublin. This year I’m living in Galway, Ireland for work as a writer, actor, model, and director. Here’s what I’ve learned.

Leaving Texas for Ireland is already a big move. The sun is rarely out, the temperature typically stays between 30 and 70 degrees, and I can’t have Whataburger. As if these changes weren’t drastic enough, moving to Ireland in a wheelchair poses a completely different set of challenges.

  1. Ireland Is More Accessible Than You Think

For many people back…


Banish plump Jack, and banish all the world. Sir John Falstaff is a complicated character, and his actions draw understandable criticism. Falstaff is an unrepentant hedonist who over drinks, overeats, and oversleeps his way through Shakespeare’s Henry IV. Falstaff’s actions deserve a stiff rebuke when compared with the conventions of the time, or traditional concepts of honor. If we look closer, we can find a unique and nuanced form of morality in Falstaff’s behavior and beliefs and a deep connection to ordinary people. Falstaff’s open cynicism towards honor and warfare, love for happiness and merriment, need for connection with others…

Eric Edling

Author, Actor, Director, Disability Advocate, and Dancer. Recipient of the Barbara Jordan Media Award from the Government of Texas.

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