Galloway earns standing ovation on Dancing with the Stars

Noah Galloway and his dancing partner, Sharna Burgess, wowed the judges during the April 6 episode of Dancing with the Stars. (Contributed)

Noah Galloway and his dancing partner, Sharna Burgess, wowed the judges during the April 6 episode of Dancing with the Stars. (Contributed)

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

For the judges and audience members on the set of the Dancing with the Stars show on April 6, Alabaster resident Noah Galloway’s performance signified much more than just a dance.

“Your experiences are unimaginable, but your spirit soars unbroken,” show judge Bruno Tonioli told Galloway and his dancing partner, Sharna Burgess, after their performance. “You really are the ultimate role model. You want a superhero? There it is.”

Galloway and Burgess will remain on the show for at least another week after they wowed the judges during the performance. The April 6 show theme challenged contestants to highlight their most memorable year through dance.

Burgess and Galloway earned a 32 out of 40 for their performance, which was seven points behind the top group for the week.

Galloway danced in memory of 2005, which was the year he lost portions of his left arm and leg. Before his performance, Galloway shared his story with the show’s viewers.

On Dec. 19, 2005, Galloway was serving in the 1st of the 502nd Infantry of the Army’s 101st Airborne Division, and was driving an armored Humvee near Baghdad, Iraq, when the vehicle hit a tripwire for an improvised explosive device.

The resulting explosion threw the 9,000-pound Humvee through the air and knocked Galloway unconscious. When he awoke in Washington, D.C., five days later, he was missing portions of his left arm and leg.

After struggling with depression and alcoholism, Galloway worked hard to regain his fitness and later decided to enter the Men’s Health magazine Ultimate Guy contest, which he won.

Following Galloway’s dance, the judges and audience members gave him a standing ovation.

“Week after week, I’ve always said how strong and how in control and how focused you are in everything you do,” said judge Julianne Hough. “Today was the same thing, but there was something different and there was something that was free and something that was so beautiful. We all felt it here tonight.”

“You are an inspiration, and I think everyone here should stand up and applaud you,” judge Len Goodman said.