The Wheelchair Dance Sport Association (UK) is celebrating 10 years of wheelchair and inclusive dance and is calling for local dance groups to get more involved with the disability community, following the national gala held on the 25th June at Stratford Circus Art Centre.
The black tie event which had over 80 people attend was an opportunity to show not only what the charity had achieved over the last 10 years but also a chance to show supporters, partners and key stakeholders how you can include everyone into Dance and Dancesport.
The event also was supported by the WDSA (UK) Patrons, with performances from Kavman showing that no matter the age everyone can still be involved in Hip-Hop and Street Dance as well as a stunning performance from new Patron Rashmi Becker and her partner Nuno Sabroso. The event also had amazing performances from former wheelchair dance world champions Nuno Sabroso and Daniele Oliveira, from Portugal, and Wheelchair Dancesport team GB athletes Paula Moulton and Gary Lyness. The event also had amazing support from Karen and Kevin Clifton who as patrons wished everyone good luck and donated items to be auction on the night.
“This evening has been an opportunity to show people what can be achieved through dance and that no matter how old or what your ability that the WDSA (UK) aim of giving opportunity to everyone to be active through Dance and Dancesport is as strong now as it was when the charity was set up in June 2006. Said Ruth Boyne, Original Founder.
The sport of wheelchair dance can involve a wheelchair user and an able-bodied partner or two wheelchair users performing together, it also has opened the opportunity of mixed ability groups and individual performances, and has taken off as a competitive sport around the world through international organisations like the International Paralympic Committee and World Dance Council. However although the WDSA (UK) is recognised as the National body for the sport in the UK and has made some major inroads in awareness and understanding of the sport, it still has a some way to go in Britain compared to other sports in the UK, this is something that the WDSA (UK) team with support from Patrons like Rashmi Becker, Karen and Kevin Clifton, Philip Wylie, Gary Edwards and many others are keen to change.
“The standard of international competition is just astounding; as someone that dances myself I am blown away by the level of skill, but there is so much more we need to do in the UK, I think the work the WDSA (UK) has done in the last 10 years is fantastic and while celebrating this anniversary this year we will be looking to get the support from the sport, dance and disability sectors to work together with the WDSA (UK), to build the next chapter in giving opportunities for even more people to take part and help support their potential.” Said Rashmi Becker, Patron.
The Celebration event on the 25th June was just the start of showcasing and engaging what is available to the disability community over this celebratory year of the WDSA (UK), this includes a National Competition and Festival which will run on the 22nd October in Ware, Hertfordshire and a National Symposium on Disability Dance and Dancesport which will take place in November in London along with more opportunities to try the sport and be active.