Dancing is a form of expression that brings joy, connection, and freedom of movement to people all over the world. However, for individuals who use wheelchairs, dancing may not always be accessible. But did you know that there is a whole world of wheelchair dancing that celebrates the beauty and artistry of movement regardless of physical ability?
What is Wheelchair Dancing?
Wheelchair dancing, also known as “para dancing,” “para dancesport,” and “seated dance” is a form of dance that originated in Sweden in 1968 as a way for wheelchair users to remain physically active and pursue their passion for music and dance. It is a fun and inclusive activity that promotes physical fitness, self-expression, and social interaction.
It has now evolved into a competitive sport and boasts a world championship event every year. The first one was held in 1998 in Prague, Czech Republic. In addition to the World Championships, there are other international and national wheelchair dance competitions held throughout the year. These events provide opportunities for wheelchair dancers of all levels to compete and to connect with others who share their passion for dance.
There are various styles of wheelchair dancing, from ballroom to hip-hop, and it can be performed as a solo, with a partner, or in a group. It can be shared by people of all abilities, creating a sense of community and inclusivity. In fact, many wheelchair dance teams and competitions are composed of both wheelchair users and able-bodied partners, emphasising the power of collaboration and diversity.
The benefits of wheelchair dancing go beyond just physical exercise. It also provides emotional and psychological benefits, such as increased self-esteem, confidence, and socialisation. For many wheelchair users, dancing provides an outlet for self-expression and creativity that may be limited in other areas of their lives.
One of the most popular forms of wheelchair dancing is ballroom dancing. This style includes dances such as the waltz, tango, and foxtrot, and is often performed with a partner. Ballroom wheelchair dancing requires coordination, balance, and timing, but with practice and dedication, it can be a beautiful and rewarding experience.
Another style of wheelchair dancing is hip-hop, which incorporates street dance styles such as breaking, popping, and locking. Hip-hop wheelchair dancing is often performed solo and emphasises fluid and expressive movements that showcase individual style and creativity.
How do I get started with Wheelchair Dancing?
To get started with wheelchair dancing, all you need is a wheelchair and a willingness to learn. Many communities have wheelchair dance classes and groups that are open to people of all abilities. These classes are led by experienced instructors who can provide guidance and support as you learn new moves and techniques.
How do I find wheelchair Dance Lessons in Victoria?
- Para Dance Sport provides free information about where to find wheelchair dancing classes near you. It’s also a great place to learn about events you can attend to see some of the pros in action.
- You can find out more about wheelchair dancing and other activities for people with a disability in the
Disability Sport and Recreation Victoria website
- Access for All Abilities also offers resources about getting active for all abilities.
- You can also do your own search online or on social media channels to find a dance school or association in your area that offers para dance. There are wheelchair dancing classes for seniors and women of all ages and skill levels.
How will I get to and from my Dance Classes?
That is where we can help!
Feel free to contact us here if you have any questions or if you would like us to arrange for someone to drop you off and pick you up in one of our wheelchair accessible vehicles. Our vehicles are clean and safe and we aim to provide a flexible service that can meet any and all mobility needs.
Not able to leave your home right now?
That’s ok! You can search online for wheelchair dancing classes, and instructional videos to learn a few new moves, or simply enjoy dancing to your favourite music at home. The opportunities are endless and can provide a fun and engaging way to stay active and creative!