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Your UCP: National August 25, 2003
Sports & Leisure

Recreation & Leisure


Four people, one in wheelchair, in black striking dance pose on white backgroundDance is a recreational or competitive activity that can be enjoyed by able bodied individuals as well as individuals with disabilities. Dance involves creativity and expression while promoting movement, flexibility and endurance. Below is a brief summary of several dance companies for individuals with disabilities. For a more complete listing, search the NCPAD database using keyword: dance.

Dark green circular AXIS logo

  • AXIS promotes a change in how people view disability, people with disabilities and dance.
  • AXIS presents a wide variety of lecture demonstrations, workshops, teacher training intensives and residency activities locally and nationally.
  • Several resources are available on the AXIS Web site including: lists of dance companies, papers and articles, and videos for individuals with disabilities.
  • For more information, contact AXIS Dance Company.

    Photo of Participants in Wheelchair Dance Class

  • Dancing Wheels is a dance company comprised of dancers with and without disabilities.
  • Regularly scheduled classes are available for dancers of all abilities.
  • Classes include: Modern Dance, Creative Movement and Repertory for professionals in addition to Creative Movement, Modern Dance and Ballet for children, teens and adults.
  • For more information, contact Dancing Wheels.

    Gallaudet Dance Company Logo with Woman Leaping

  • The Gallaudet Dance Company is a performing group of approximately 15 dancers.
  • The Gallaudet Dance Company Web site is a great resource which has information on techniques for deaf dancers and available videos.
  • Deaf or hearing impaired dancers rely on their vision as their primary mode of communication. Their dance includes a range of styles, including dance that uses American Sign Language as its foundation.
  • For more information, contact Gallaudet Dance Company - Department of Physical Education and Recreation at Gallaudet University.

    Black and White Photo of Dance Couple

  • A dance couple must be comprised of a male and a female partner, one of which must be a wheelchair user with at least a minimal disability that makes walking impossible.
  • Participants with disabilities in the lower part of their body such as amputation, paralysis, cerebral palsy, and leg shortening (at least 7 cm.) are eligible for competition.
  • Participants are expected to have normal upper body function.
  • There are two functional classes based on ability to maneuver a wheelchair, trunk rotation, and arm function.
  • In all rounds of International Wheelchair Dance Sport Competitions, the music is played for a minimum of one and a half minutes duration for Waltz, Tango, Slow Foxtrot, Quickstep, Samba, Cha-Cha-Cha, Rumba and Paso doble. The time for the Viennese Waltz and Jive is one minute. In the qualifying rounds the same music must be played for different heats.
  • International Wheelchair Dance Sport Competitions are comprised of at least two qualifying rounds to allow couples the opportunity of dancing twice. The numbers of rounds is determined by the numbers of participants.
  • At least 50% of participating couples are recalled to the next round excluding the final.
  • Winners are selected by a panel of judges from varying countries. FOR MORE INFORMATION
    (Additional information may be available in the NCPAD Database. Try searching using keywords: dance and dancing)

    Axis Dance Company, (510)287-5792

    Bethune Theatredance/Dance Outreach
    Zina Bethune
    8033 W Sunset Blvd., Ste. 221
    Los Angeles, CA 90046

    DanceAbility, (541)342-3273

    Dancing Wheels, (216)432-0306

    Full Radius Company

    Gallaudet Dance Company
    Department of Physical Education and Recreation Gallaudet University-Field House
    800 Florida Avenue, NE
    Washington, DC 20002-3695

    International Paralympic Committee
    Dr. Gertrude Krombholz, Chairperson
    Phone: (49)-89-157 3601
    Fax: (49)-89-157 3503

    Light Motion, (206)328-0818
    1520 32nd Avenue South
    Seattle, WA 98144

    United States Amateur Ballroom Dancers Association, (800)447-9047

    United States Dancesport Council, (612)926-7648

    Source: NCPAD

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