Irwin dedicates dance to late father

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Kristina Wyman's picture
Erin Keating

For 21 seasons, Dancing With The Stars contestants have made us cry with their compassionate dances that tug at our heartstrings. This current season proved no different, with one contestant delivering a dance that left everyone in the audience and watching at home in tears.

17-year-old Bindi Irwin is a competitor on season 21 of Dancing With The Stars, partnered with five-time champion Derek Hough. Bindi Irwin is the daughter of the late crocodile hunter Steve Irwin. Irwin was the star of The Crocodile Hunter, a television series that followed him, along with wife Terri, daughter Bindi and son Robert, as they handled crocodiles and many other animals. Irwin’s catchphrase (“Crikey!”), lovable demeanor and downright fearlessness made him famous around the world.

While filming the scenes for his daughter’s television documentary series, Bindi the Jungle Girl, Irwin’s life came to an abrupt end. On September 4, 2006, at 44 years old, Steve Irwin was struck several times by a stingray and eventually bled to death.

At the age of eight, Bindi gave the eulogy at her father’s public memorial service, which took place on September 20, 2006 at his family zoo’s Crocoseum, where he worked for many years. She talked about her “hero” and how he worked to “change the world.” She then spoke of her hopes to help wildlife just like her deceased father.

In the years that followed her father’s death, Bindi appeared on many talk shows from The Late Show With David Letterman to Ellen, talking about her father and the work she was doing with wildlife. Her documentary series Bindi the Jungle Girl continued until 2008 and she hosted a game show called Bindi’s Bootcamp. Additionally, she dipped her toe into acting waters, guest starring on My Babysitter’s a Vampire and having the lead role in two movies, Free Willy: Escape from Pirates Cove and Return to Nim’s Island.

Bindi is currently a contestant on the popular reality dance competition show Dancing With The Stars with partner Derek Hough. For week four, the couples had to perform a dance that represented the most memorable year of their lives. Bindi chose 2006, which was the year of her father’s untimely death. They preformed a contemporary dance to the song “Every Breath You Take.” The dance represents the father-daughter relationship that Steve and Bindi shared. Bindi believes that her father “will always be with [her]” and the dance beautifully demonstrated that. There wasn’t a dry eye in the audience, including Bindi herself. Although Bindi was young when her father passed, the dance showed that her love for him will never end and she misses him terribly.

Irwin changed the way that the world looks and deals with animals. His daughter, Bindi, works to continues his legacy, through the the animals they both know and love.

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