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Merry Lynn Morris

Tom Kramer

Breakdancing - or any kind of dancing for that matter - is a challenge for most of us.

But "b-boy" Luca "Lazylegz" Patuelli makes spinning his entire body on one hand look easy, despite the fact that the 31-year-old has lived his entire life with arthrogryposis.

"Basically it’s a neuromuscular disorder. It affects the bones and the joints in your body," he said, baseball cap turned to one side. "For me, it primarily affects me in my legs, so I have very little muscles in my legs, but it also affects me in my shoulders, so I’m limited in the level of how I can raise my hands."

But that hasn’t slowed him down. Patuelli incorporates his crutches into his breakdancing, using them as equal parts propulsion and prop.

USF School of Theatre & Dance (left) / WUSF Public Meida (right)

The third time will hopefully be the charm for a pair of University of South Florida inventors who are scheduled to speak in Washington, DC, this weekend.

USF graduate Alexei Novitzky and School of Theatre and Dance academic advisor Merry Lynn Morris had their appearances at two previously scheduled Smithsonian Institution conferences on innovation canceled -  the first due to the federal government sequestration, the second because of the government shutdown.

Now, barring bad weather, the pair will be among the speakers at “Innovation: Brainstorms, Big Ideas and the Creative Future,” a day-long program Sunday in the Smithsonian’s Ripley Center.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

The ongoing inertia in Washington, D.C., is keeping a pair of University of South Florida inventors from appearing at a Smithsonian Institution event--and it isn't the first time it's happened to them.