I was crushed by a New York City bus and had to completely rebuild my life. Here are 5 lessons I carry with me from that experience.

Amy Jordan
Amy Jordan.

  • Former real-estate agent and dancer Amy Jordan was hit by a New York City bus in 2009.
  • She could no longer work her previous jobs and spent the years since rebuilding her body and life.
  • She learned to trust her instincts, accept change, and that she had to do the work.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Everyone has come home from a long day, taken off their shoes, and, in response to a partner or roommate asking, “So, how was your day?” replied with, “I feel like I got hit by a bus.”

I too have had this experience on many occasions.

Then it happened to me. On Friday, May 1, 2009, I was crossing the street in New York City. I was working as a residential real-estate agent and had just closed a client deal and was on my way to my office.

One moment I was in the crosswalk minding my own business. The next moment, I was face down on the pavement and couldn’t move.

It was a rainy day, and the ground was damp and dirty. I felt fuzzy, like I was in a dream. A few moments later I heard, “Ms. Jordan, do you know where you are?” “Who is the President of the United States?” “Do you know what day it is?”

Why all the questions? I thought, still unable to move. I had lost all feeling on my right side. A moment later, the same voice said, “Just relax. I am a paramedic. We are going to get you out from under the tire of this bus.”

The cliché line had become a terrifying reality. I had literally not only been hit but run over by an NYC express bus.

The gory details that came to follow are their own story. In a nutshell, my right leg was completely crushed, nearly amputated, and rebuilt. I had a total of 20 surgeries. I spent two months in a burn-intensive care unit, fighting daily for my survival.

Amy Jordan.
Amy Jordan.

I’m a dancer, and it was quickly apparent that life as I’d known it was over. My body was structurally different.

I’d been teaching dance and fitness outside my day-to-day job, and my employment was dependent on my ability to show property and climb stairs. I couldn’t go back to any of my former jobs.

I was visibly deformed and now had mobility challenges. A lot of necessary attention was paid to rebuilding my body. What I found missing was attention to how I would rebuild my life.

It’s been 12 years since the accident. These are the life lessons it taught me that will stay with me forever.

Read more: The Kellogg School of Management launched a new class using poker to teach women crucial leadership skills. A student shares what it’s like.

1. Trust your instincts

The first hospital wanted to amputate my crushed right leg. I said no and demanded a second opinion.

I have the utmost respect for doctors and medical professionals, but I knew at that moment that amputation was premature. I also knew I wasn’t in a hospital equipped to treat that level of trauma.

I got on the phone and found a team of medical professionals who could handle the severity of the situation. I was transferred to one of the world’s best burn ICU units. They took on the task of rebuilding my battered body. I wasn’t afraid to not only question the first hospital but find the best place for me at that moment.

2. Keep seeking answers

There was no playbook for rebuilding my body and my life. So I kept trying things out to learn what my new body was capable of doing.

Being a dancer and fitness instructor, I found a gym that felt emotionally safe and worked out and took classes. Sometimes, I had to leave or modify what I was doing because it was too physically taxing. I sought out new rehab trainers who understood my physical and emotional goals.

I let go of any shame or guilt if something I tried didn’t work. Ultimately, I continued to seek new ways of literally moving around in the world. I knew if one thing didn’t work, I could find something that would.

3. Change happens, and that’s okay

The day I was discharged from outpatient rehab was rough. I asked my physical therapist, “This is it?” She reminded me that I had come back from near death.

After a good cry and a brief wallow, it was time to look ahead. I had to get comfortable with the fact that I was starting completely over and everything would be new and different. My body had new needs. I was working through major trauma and severe PTSD. I learned to give myself space and grace to adapt and accept my new reality.

4. Something magical can come from tragedy

Before being pinned under the tire of a bus, spending months in a burn ICU, enduring 20 surgeries, and doing thousands of hours of rehabilitation, I never would’ve imagined how much value this journey could create.

Amy Jordan's book
“Dance Because You Can” by Amy Jordan.

People began to ask me how I had such a miraculous rehabilitation and positive outlook. My business coach encouraged me to write a book. I started writing my experience by committing one hour a day to the writing process. I was led to a publisher. The book was released in 2018 and was awarded the 2019 EVVY award for best nonfiction book.

The day of the accident I vowed that if I survived the night there would be a victory dance. In 2015, I founded The Victory Dance Project, a professional dance company. The mission is to make the impossible possible with the power of movement.

Amy Jordan's movie
“Amy’s Victory Dance.”

I also became the subject of a documentary feature film. Working with my dance company, I met photographer and director Brian Thomas, a two-time Emmy nominee who choreographed and danced for Michael Jackson, Beyoncé, Paula Abdul, and Liza Minnelli, among other entertainment icons. He thought my story could be a source of inspiration and expressed an interest in creating a documentary.

The movie, “Amy’s Victory Dance,” chronicles my journey dancing with my professional company for the first time since the accident. The film has won over 40 international awards and official film festival selections.

If you told me this in the beginning, I would’ve responded with a few choice expletives. But hindsight is 20/20. I now make a daily vow to create value and use my experience for good.

5. Do the work

Amy Jordan
Amy Jordan.

Emotional and physical rehabilitation takes time and effort. I don’t miss workouts because it’s how I manage my pain without pills.

I rest when I’m tired. I say no to gatherings or events that are too physically demanding for me. I put a significant amount of time and energy into my physical health.

It’s a commitment. I’ve learned that diligence and self-care manifest real results. I also make no apology about what I need to do for my body and my mind.

My question is always: How much do you want to improve and what are you willing to do to make it happen? It’s not magic. The rewards for the effort are amazing.

With all its physical challenges, I’m grateful for my life today. I feel a deep sense of responsibility to be the change I want to see. Whether I’m speaking to large audiences or coaching one-on-one, I tell anyone that if I did it, so can you. It might not be quick or easy, but the lessons are profound and long-lasting.

If you’re in the muck of the struggle, just know that it does get better. The most beautiful lotus flower blooms in the muddiest water.

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I learned how to dance like Beyoncé from her choreographer

Following is a transcript of the video.

Manny: That’s JaQuel Knight. He’s a dancer and choreographer. He’s also the creative mind behind many of Beyoncé’s iconic performances. I caught up with JaQuel at the Monsters Dance Convention in New Jersey. He was teaching choreography to literally hundreds of kids. I quickly got a sense of the talent and work ethic that made him successful.

Manny: The story goes that you were teaching Beyoncé choreography at age 18.

JaQuel: Yeah.

Manny: How did you get to meet Beyoncé? How did that whole thing start?

JaQuel: So I moved to LA right outta high school. And literally maybe a year into LA, I was at this audition for Michelle Williams with Frank Gatson. He enjoyed me, my freestyle, he was like, “Hey I got this Beyoncé record, can you come to New York tonight?” “When you get here if she likes you you’ll stay, if not we’ll get you back on a plane to LA.”

Manny: What was your reaction?

JaQuel: Yeah, hell yeah, get me on that goddamn flight.

Manny: JaQuel went on to choreograph stars like J. Lo, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, and more.

Manny: Who was your favorite to work with?

JaQuel: They’re all very special, ya know.

Manny: That’s like a parent saying all of their kids are special, though.

JaQuel: ‘Cause these are all stars. All your kids aren’t superstars.

Manny: Most recently, JaQuel collaborated with Beyoncé for her famous Beychella performance. The choreography incorporated homecoming moves made popular by historically black colleges and universities It was a smash hit.

After the convention, JaQuel agreed to give me a personal dance lesson. Um, just watch for yourself.

Manny: JaQuel, I want to know how to dance like Beyoncé. This is me right here. This is where I wanna grow from.

Manny: How was that?

JaQuel: That was good.

Manny: It was good?

JaQuel: That was really good actually.

Manny: You don’t have to lie.

JaQuel: Okay, it was okay.

Manny: Okay, it’s painfully obvious that I’m not gonna be dancing like Beyoncé any time soon, but I did have one more question for JaQuel.

Manny: Will you say “hi” to Beyoncé for me?

JaQuel: Negative! Hah!

EDITOR’S NOTE: This video was originally published in February 2019.

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Watch the humanoid robots from Boston Dynamics perform an elaborate dance number in their first video since being bought by Hyundai

Boston Dynamics, Atlas

The humanaoid robots from Boston Dynamics are back with another video, but this time the focus isn’t agility or power – it’s all about how well they can dance.

In a routine that would be at home on “Dancing with the Stars,” Boston Dynamics’ Atlas robot gets down to The Contours’ “Do You Love Me?”

As ever, the impressive video sparked responses far and wide – from the apocalyptic “We’re doomed,” care of sports broadcaster Rex Chapman, to the absurd, care of Tesla CEO Elon Musk:

It’s the first such video from Boston Dynamics following its acquisition by Hyundai from Softbank in mid-December that valued the robotics company at $1.1 billion.

Boston Dynamics describes the dance routine as a celebration of “the start of what we hope will be a happier year.”

Check out the full video right here:

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