Month: July 2017

Meet Oscar – Wheelchair Dancer

We meet Oscar, a regular at our wheelchair dance classes to find out what he enjoys about wheelchair dancing.

How did you find out about Strictly Wheels? – My wife loves to dance, and she found the Strictly Wheels website and got in touch to find out about classes.

How long have you been a wheelchair user? – Over 20 years – I was involved in a motorbike accident suffering spinal cord injury.

Why did you decide to take part? – It is an activity I can do together with my wife, as a wheelchair user and non-wheelchair user it is hard to find activities to share.

What do you like about the classes? – The classes teach proper dance technique and the teachers are very patient and understanding. The classes are also FREE, which is a great plus point,

What benefits has wheelchair dancing brought to your life? – I was pretty shy and don’t like attention. The classes have helped to bring out my personality to others.  Wheelchair Dancing also helps me to keep fit, and support my everyday life by building strength and makes things in day-to-day life easier.

Any sport or activity requires discipline and training, I take this discipline and apply it to my daily life.  Classes get me out from home and give me something to focus on. It also helps me socialise with other wheelchair users and able-bodied friends.

I’m definitely braver now and overcame the challenge of being watched after taking part in a demonstration at the Wythenshawe Games Disability Day last year.  I then went on to win a Gold and Silver medal at the UK National Championship in October 2016.

What has been the biggest challenge for you? – The classes are hard work, I don’t have good balance due to my disability and struggle to raise my arms above his head.  The classes help me though and I can now do more than I could when I started.

What has been a highlight of learning to dance so far? – We got married last year and were able to surprise our wedding guests with a first dance. No one expected it and we received a great response with a huge round of applause.

What do you enjoy most about wheelchair dance? – Dance is something I can do with my wife as a couple, that we both enjoy.  It’s actually helped our relationship, having a common interest, and brought us closer together. I love to dance and enjoy the social aspect that the classes give too. Sometimes I find it hard to motivate myself to get out but my wife steps in every week with her motivating words “Shut up and dance!”, which is great, as dancing is a release from the stresses of the day.

Our FREE wheelchair dance classes take place every Wednesday evening at Trinity Sports Centre, Manchester.