Introduction to Dancing
Dance is a recreational or competitive activity that can be enjoyed by individuals with and without disabilities. Dance involves creativity and expression while promoting movement, flexibility, and endurance. It is a form of art. Dance allows individuals to express their feelings and emotions through the movement of the body. It also expresses ideas and can tell a story. Whether in a performance setting or participatory, dance expresses a language — a nonverbal language.
Wheelchair dancing, adaptive dancing, or integrated dance first started as a movement approximately 30 years ago. People with disabilities and the dance community worked together to use dance to change society’s views and perceptions of disability. Wheelchair dancing is an activity that integrates the wheelchair user and a nondisabled person. It is an increasingly popular physical activity; and has become an official sport pursued by people with disabilities in 40 countries.
There are different types of wheelchair dancing: (1) group dance, (2) duo dance, (3) freestyle dance, and (4) couples dance. In duo dance, two wheelchair users dance together, while freestyle dancing is a single person dancing in a wheelchair. Couples dance is when a person in a wheelchair partners with a person who is ambulatory or a professional dancer.
As far as styles of wheelchair dance are concerned, there are a variety, including square dance, line dance, ballet, ballroom, and jazz. Combi-dance style (a wheelchair user dancing with a non-disabled partner) allows people with disabilities to participate in standard dances, such as waltz, tango, Viennese waltz, slowfox, and quickstep, as well as Latin American dances, such as samba, cha-cha, rumba, paso doble, and the jive.