Suncoast dance instructor recovering from motorcycle crash

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SARASOTA- A Suncoast ballroom dance instructor is recovering from a motorcycle accident that’s left him sidelined, and while he’s out of work, it’s his students that are coming to his aid.
Vidas Orlovas was riding his motorcycle to work, when he got in a head on collision.

“It was street with new building,” Orlovas said. “And what happened really there was two school buses, and he could not see me, and I could not see him either.”

He broke his wrists, one arm and an elbow.

“It was the hardest part,” Orlovas said. “That I lost my job for now.”

Orlovas says he loves watching his students learn something they never thought they could do.

“To see really how they’re picking up and how really in the beginning it’s really hard,” Orlovas said. “And it gets easier and easier and easier for them, and it makes me feel good.”

Orlovas competed in and won CAN DANCE 2016 with Former TV Journalist Alix Redmonde.

“He started to realize that I learned a little bit differently,” Alix Redmonde said. “So we started to videotape where my feet went in space, so he would diligently go over each and every step.

Redmonde says Orlovas was a patient and kind teacher, and was devastated to hear about the accident.

“This man that uses his body to teach people how to move and how to dance and bring people joy,” Redmonde said. “Not to mention the time he spends fundraising.”

Now he’s out of work and his wife also took time off from teaching dance to help him recover. And his students are raising money to help him.

“I’m kind of to them a teacher also friend,” Orlovas said. “So now they help me, I help them to learn fun, now they help me… cries”

And just like he teaches dance, he’s back to learning to move his arms.

“I feel I want to move really quick,” Orlovas said. “And do it every minute, but you really just want want that much,” But I already can work a little bit with my elbow.”

Recovery could take over three months, but Orlovas is working at it every day.

“I want to start teaching my students as soon as I can start,” Orlovas said. “And go back on dance floor.”

There is a go fund me page set up to help Orlovas with medical bills.

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Samantha Sonner
Multimedia Journalist Samantha Sonner comes to the Suncoast from Las Cruces, New Mexico, where she worked as a reporter and host for KRWG TV/FM reporting on local politics, immigration, and border issues. Samantha grew up on Long Island, New York. She received her Bachelor of Science in Broadcast and Digital Journalism from Syracuse University. At Syracuse, she worked at WAER, the campus NPR station and interned at television stations in Central New York. Samantha is excited for the Florida Sunshine, and to be living so close to fantastic beaches. Feel free to follow her on Facebook and Twitter for story updates and news, or to send her story tips and ideas. You can also email her at samantha.sonner@snntv.com.