Being in a wheelchair does not stop you from enjoying and rocking to your favorite music.
You can make amazing dance moves just like every other person. Yes, nothing stops you from dancing for fun or fundraising, rehab therapy, or moneymaking.
The most interesting part about wheelchair dances is that they can be done in different styles.
The styles include single wheelchair dance, duo, combined, and group dance. It all depends on your ability and preference.
But before I talk about how to dance with someone in a wheelchair, allow me to tell you the importance of wheelchair dance.
Table of Contents
- Benefits of Dancing with Someone in a Wheelchair
- How to Dance with Someone in a Wheelchair
- Types of Wheelchair Dance
- Wheelchair Dance Styles
- How to Dance with Someone in a Wheelchair (Video)
Benefits of Dancing with Someone in a Wheelchair
There are a lot of benefits to a wheelchair dance. The best part is that both the person in the wheelchair and the non-disabled person enjoy the benefits.
So, it’s a win-win situation for the two parties.
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It Helps You to Understand Your Body Better
Like every other sport, a wheelchair dance helps disabled people familiarize themselves with their bodies and know the limit to which they can flex their bodies.
Let me explain better.
A wheelchair dance allows you to identify specific postures and your strength, which is important in helping you to accept your condition.
When you dance with someone in a wheelchair, you can learn to break any physical barriers and accept them the way they are.
It Reduces the Risk of Heart Diseases and Helps to Burn Calories
Wheelchair dance is as effective as going to the gym to burn calories.
This activity is similar to cycling and running and can help you burn up to 400 calories in an hour. It also reduces cholesterol levels and the risk of heart disease.
Here’s how it works.
Dancing helps strengthen the heart and makes it immune to all kinds of diseases and illnesses.
You should consider a wheelchair dance if you use a wheelchair and desire to increase the capacity of your lungs for a strong and healthy heart.
It Reduces Stress and Improves Self-esteem
A great way to deal with stress and low self-esteem is a quality dance time that impacts your mood and life quality. There are no two ways about it. When you dance, you will become more cheerful due to the production of endorphins.
Endorphin is a hormone responsible for an enthusiastic attitude and a happy feeling.
Rest assured that your dopamine and serotonin levels go up and make you feel good about yourself when you dance.
It Improves Coordination and Posture
Good postures are one of the rewards of dancing, not to mention improved coordination and memory. When you dance, you get to strengthen your muscles and bones and relieve stress in your joints.
But that’s not all.
A lack of physical exercises like dancing results in more serious ailments like back pain and memory loss.
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How to Dance with Someone in a Wheelchair
The goal of a wheelchair dance is usually to make the person in the wheelchair feel good. This means that you have to take it slow and easy until you become perfect in the dance.
Below are the 3 major techniques to dance with someone in a wheelchair
The Passing-by Technique
The passing-by technique involves exchanging places by wheeling the person in a wheelchair and turning them around. This technique is only possible in a combined wheelchair dance, that is, a walker and a person sitting in a wheelchair.
The person sitting in a wheelchair should assist their standing partner by using their own freehand to manipulate their wheelchair to spin as the walker make their footwork.
The Coming Together and Going Apart Technique
This is used in a duo wheelchair dance. The 2 participants make a swing-out by coming together and spinning their wheelchairs to turn around each other. This technique is rounder and slower than the passing-by technique.
Both dancers get a steady flow in movement before they begin to experiment with different rhythms. This technique can also be used in a group wheelchair dance.
The Under-arm Technique
Here, the walker needs to lock hands with the person in the wheelchair while the latter spins their wheelchair, passing under the walker’s arm. The walker will then bend or duck to accommodate this movement.
It’s only possible in a combined wheelchair dance.
You can make this move as many times as you want. Trust me, your partner in the wheelchair will thank you for this.
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Types of Wheelchair Dance
There are 4 types of wheelchair dance. They’re explained below in detail.
This is also known as a freestyle wheelchair dance. The wheelchair user dances alone using a series of techniques.
It involves two wheelchair users. The two participants spin their wheelchairs. They can use either a manual transmission or a power wheelchair.
This is also known as couple wheelchair dance. A wheelchair user dances with a standing partner who’s a professional dancer. In a combined wheelchair dance, the participants can use varying styles and techniques to have a great time.
This comprises several wheelchair users dancing together. It is also called a group formation wheelchair dance and involves four to eight wheelchair users.
Wheelchair Dance Styles
From Samba to Paso Doble, Waltz, and Tango, many wheelchair dance styles are for fun and pleasure. But the most popularly known is the Para dance sport, which has gained a worldwide competitive level.
The Para dance sport became a part of the ICP Championship in 1998. It is governed by the International Paralympic Committee and accepted in 29 countries.
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