Our ‘Access All Areas’ correspondent Zoe Maclean has been championing access causes throughout the local area, and beyond, and in this week’s feature, takes on a ‘Strictly come wheelchair dancing’ event at Renfrew...
Since it started in 2004 ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ has captured the imagination of the nation. Family audiences tune in each week that the show is aired to watch and vote their favourite celebrity couple through to the next stage of the competition.
A few weeks ago my friend Marion Burns invited me to a wheelchair dancing taster day at the David Lloyd leisure centre in Renfrew.
Marion has been involved with wheelchair dancing since the age of ten and has won and participated in several competitions as a member of the All Stars Wheelchair Dance Team. The team have even travelled to Blackpool to compete at a national level. Wheelchair dancing is an activity which has only recently become more well known.
The All Stars Wheelchair Dance Team started in 2016 and enables wheelchair dancers of all abilities to participate in a range of different dance styles including, team dances, individual, and couples dances as well as freestyle. There is another wheelchair dance team based in Greenock called the Inverclyders who are currently looking for a dance tutor.
The All stars team meets every fortnight on a Monday in the Tweedy hall in Linwood and always welcomes new members and volunteers. Marion says she enjoys the social aspect of dancing and the friendships she has made. She also feels a great sense of freedom when she dances.
During the taster day I watched several different dance routines and spoke to the participants. Everyone has different reasons why they enjoy wheelchair dancing. For many people they enjoy the opportunity to move in a different way and also the chance to meet people and make new friends. I really enjoyed my day and got the opportunity to dance with my friend Marion as well as try different types of dance. I feel that wheelchair dancing needs to be more widely known about so that it can develop further as an art form and more people can enjoy it.
If anyone would like more information about wheelchair dancing or how they can become more involved, please visit the New Wheelies wheelchair dance team on Facebook. Just visit the following link http://bit.ly/2pM8pMT Alternatively contact Walter on 01324501630.