Sport of Wheelchair Dancing
Grows Worldwide

wheelchair dancing

Wheelchair dancing continues to increase in popularity around the globe and is now recognized as an official international paralympic sport. 

With a growing number of dance centers and organizations that cater to those who are physically challenged, wheelchair users can learn to dance socially or competitively – and actively participate in their favorite dance styles. These include square dancing, line dancing, ballet, jazz, Latin American, and traditional ballroom dancing. 

In addition to dancing centers that exclusively cater to individuals who use wheelchairs, an ever-growing number of organizations, such as takelessons.com, specialize in teaching the art and sport of dance to able-bodied individuals, as well as people with physical challenges.

In more than 40 countries, people of all ages and physical abilities participate in dance activities with their manual or power mobility chairs. 

There are four ways in which to dance:

  1. Combi-dance: Integrates an able-bodied individual with a disabled dancer and allows couples to participate in dances such as waltz, tango, Viennese waltz, slow fox, and quickstep, as well as Latin American dances, such as samba, cha-cha, rumba, paso doble, and jive.
  2. Duo-dance: Features two wheelchair competitors gracing the dance fool together
  3. Group-dance: Includes wheelchair users and able-bodied individuals dancing in synchronized formation, as well as participating with free-style movement to the music.
  4. Single dance: Describes solo performances when a wheelchair user dances alone.

In addition to the enjoyment derived from dance lessons, participation and competition, wheel chair dancing – like other forms of dancing – can provide benefits both physically and mentally.

Wheelchair users have said they feel more inspired and confident from regular dance involvement. Some people suggest that dancing has enabled them to require less physical therapy because of the exercise they get during practice and performances.

The sport is governed by International Dance Sport Federation rules, as modified by the International Paralympic Committee. 

These rules outline the floor size, dance forms, music tempo and duration, number of couples who may compete, and costumes. Several rounds of competition are conducted, based on the particular event, and dance performances are evaluated by five to seven expert judges.


Dance Organizations and Contacts

Adaptive Dancing
www.adaptivedancing.com

American DanceWheels
www.americandancewheels.org

Axis Dance Company
www.axisdance.org

Full Radius Dance
www.fullradiusdance.org

Icelandic Dance Sport Federation
www.danssport.is

International Dance Sports Federation
www.idsf.net

International Paralympic Committee
www.paralympic.org

Malta Wheelchair Danceport Association
www.maltawda.com

U.S. Wheel Chair Dancing
www.uswheelchairdancing.com

Wheelchair Dance Sport Association (UK)
wwdsauk.co.uk

Wheel Chair Dance Sport Australia
www.wheelchairdancesport.com.au

Wheel Chair Dance Club of Holland
www.rolstoeldansen.nl

Wheel Chair Dance Sport Committee
www.wdance.com

Wheel Chair Dance Sport Russia
www.wdr.ru

Wheel Chair Dance Sport USA
www.wheelchairdancesportusa.org

Wheel Chair Dancers
wheelchairdancers.org

If you would like to suggest other dancing resources, centers or organizations to be added to this resource list, please click here.

Related Information

Wheelchair Sports
Wheelchair Basketball Rules
Paralympic Games
Wheelchair Travel


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Published by Jules Sowder


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