Success Stories : Dergin Tokmak : Dancing the Dreams

At the tender age of 1,

Dergin Tokmak contracted polio and was partially paralyzed from the waist down.

Just like any other child,

Dergin had dreams.

Most of us have dreams that are within our perceived limitations.

But Dergin’s dreams argued his limitations

He dreamed of becoming a dancer.

With hard work, dedication and a few slick moves with his crutches..

He went on to realize those dreams as a member of Cirque du Soleil.

A Sample to his excellent Dancing Skills…



Additional Reading… His Interview to BBC (well very old one)

Uppermost in my mind today is …

Working on my act. I’m trying to put a new trick in there. I used to do a hand-stand, and now I’m hoping to integrate one crutch into it.

People think I’m …

I don’t care what people think about me. It brings me bad energy.

Not a lot of people know that I …

Spend most of my time in a wheelchair. I use crutches on stage, but it’s the opposite in my private life. I think people would give me pity if they knew. I use the chair like someone would use a bicycle. It gets me around more quickly and my hands are freer.

I want to ban …

Stairs. I can go down them, but not up. I do lots of wheelchair hiking though, and sometimes I try the steps out to get down a hill. I like simple sports chairs – technical ones make you lazy.

I struggle with …

Making decisions. When there are so many things happening so quickly, I don’t know what the right answer is.

I excel at …

Dancing. I started with breakdancing when I was 12 years old. You have to have a certain look for ballet, but with breakdancing you just need to look cool, and you gain respect. Then I had a sort of choreographed boy band with four other guys, dancing to stuff like Bobby Brown. I was the only one on crutches. I like every kind of dance, but my speciality is hip-hop. My current show is more acrobatic and abstract.

The best piece of advice I would pass on is …

Find some silence at the end of your day to think about what happened. Most people don’t do this. It’s good to think through everything and ask yourself what the best moment was.

My ideal dinner guest is …

My parents. They never saw the show, and I’ve been in it for three years, travelling all over the world. I’d like to invite them and have a nice dinner afterwards to find out what they think. They are very protective of me. When I told them I wanted to be a dancer it was very scary for them.

Where do you spend most of your time?

Outside. In parks, coffee shops, bars. I love to watch people and socialise.

If I didn’t live in Germany, I’d live in …

Somewhere very sunny like Australia. The people are friendly, and I’d never get bored there going diving and hiking. It’s full of life.

My first job was …

As a technical drawer in an office. It was pretty boring. I did it part-time so that I could focus on a career in dancing. I did it for my parents, and to make money.

My favourite drink is …

Being German, I’d have to say beer. But my parents are from Turkey, and I do like Turkish tea.

Being a disabled dancer is …

The best job you ever can have. It’s my hobby as well.
– Dergin Tokmak
Courtesy : Google & BBC

4 thoughts on “Success Stories : Dergin Tokmak : Dancing the Dreams

  1. Pingback: Propel Steps : Archive : 2013 : Most Read Posts | PROPEL STEPS

  2. Amazing Dergin ! You are a source of inspiration for all the people of this world, keep it up.
    With best wishes.

    Dr Satyakam Phukan
    Guwahati, Assam (INDIA)


  3. Pingback: Dergin Tokmak: A mankókkal táncoló (videó) | Nagy Utazás

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