Who would’ve thought that a professional bull rider would have it in him to drop jaws with such perfectly timed and enticing dance moves?
After Bonner Bolton made his unforgettably alluring dancing debut, Dancing with the Stars fans knew they were in for a thrilling ride on the highly acclaimed show’s 24th Season. 29-year-old Bolton was paired with pro dancer Sharna Burgess to compete against other contenders. Together, the pair moved fluidly to the song Move by Luke Bryan. They exuded confidence while their movements were snappy, well-coordinated, and really just came out sharp and clean. Their chemistry was evident through their synchronized movements and the seductive twists and turns of their bodies. Both Sharna and Bonner were so into their cha-cha choreography that it made spectators question if the relationship between them was truly only professional in nature.
But what the audience didn’t know is Bolton’s past injury that led him to take the path he is walking in today. Born and raised on a ranch in West Texas, Bonner was introduced to the world of rodeo cowboy by his father, Toya Bolton. His father was a pro in the said competitive sport for about 15 years, and he was also the one who trained Bolton to succeed his legacy. Bolton also appeared in the film, The Longest Ride, as a stunt double for Scott Eastwood. However, about a year ago, Bolton dismounted a bull then landed abruptly on his head, causing him to break his neck. Specifically, he broke his C-2 vertebra. He was paralyzed from the neck-down at first, until he regained sensation on his body hours later. Despite the trauma that the accident imprinted, that did not spell the end of the world for him. The doctors had him undergo spinal fusion surgery, wherein a metal brace was inserted around Bolton’s broken vertebrae. Instead, he focused on getting better until such time that he finally recovered and his life turned back to normal.
Aside from dancing, Bolton also proved to be a perfect canvas for selling products! He was spotted after photographer Cass Bird took portraits of the participants for the world championship bull riding competition. Bolton’s look made heads turn for one of the most renowned modelling agencies in the US, IMG Models. In May of 2016, Bonner signed with IMG Models and posed for Boot Barn, Br4ss underwear, and Saks Fifth Avenue.
Using his traumatizing experience as a source of motivation, people could not see any trace of hesitation in Bolton. Instead, he lets the crowd feast their eyes on his determination to continue living his life to the fullest. Some people simply give up after losing a limb, or having their normal activities hampered by their physical disabilities. Some people feel get haunted by despair. But life should not be as bleak or hopelessly black and white. As long as we are breathing, and we have people who genuinely care for us and want nothing more than for us to be happy, life is still worth appreciating and fighting for.