The Army vet explains why he's not ready to use a prosthetic arm for Latin night on Dancing with the Stars

By Lynette Rice
Updated March 30, 2015 11:45 AM
Credit: Adam Taylor/ABC

Noah Galloway has gone so long without having a left arm that performing without it on Dancing with the Stars seemed like no big deal.

But the Army vet, who lost his left arm above the elbow and his leg above the knee in Iraq, learned from his partner Sharna Burgess that two arms help to “frame” certain dances, so he’s now considering whether to try out a new prosthetic limb.

“Form is key to the look and feel of the dance,” Galloway told PEOPLE. “When she pointed that out to me, we jumped at the chance to try the arm out.”

Galloway, 33, was sent a special prosthetic arm that “works through sensors in the sockets that touch what’s remaining of my tricep and bicep.”

“By flexing those two muscles,” Galloway said, “a signal is sent to my hand which tells it to open or close.”

So when will he show off his new secret weapon? Soon, Galloway hints, but not during tonight’s performance of the Argentine tango.

“I don’t wear one in my daily life, so it hasn’t been necessary, because I have everything I need in my right arm,” he told PEOPLE. “Prosthetics take time to adapt to, and because this all happened so quickly, I wasn’t used to wearing an arm and didn’t have time to adapt to the new technology in time. We tried one out for this week but only had two days to practice with it, and decided I just need more time with it before I’m ready to use it in a dance.”

Eventually, Galloway – who is the new spokesmodel for the Kenneth Cole cologne Mankind Ultimate – may work his new prosthetic arm into his daily activities. He told PEOPLE he owns three prosthetic legs – one of which he uses for running only.

“It hasn’t been anything I’ve thought about, having gone so long using one arm for my daily routine,” said Galloway. “I want to start using it more for different activities.”

Dancing with the Stars airs Mondays (8 p.m. ET) on ABC.

For more about Galloway, pick up the next issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday

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