Month: November 2017
We’ve had a great year again here at Strictly Wheels!
It’s time for a well earned break and rest so here’s the details of our Christmas Classes 2017.
Our classes will run as normal up to 13th December.
13th Dec – 7.30pm
20th Dec – No class
27th Dec – No class
3rd Jan – No class
10th Jan – No class
17th Jan – 7.30pm
We’ll see you all in the New Year for another great year of Wheelchair Dance!
We have the following highlights to look forward to in 2018:
- UK National
- WPDS European Championships
- Mainhattan Cup, Frankfurt
If you want to come along and try a class, just pop in, everyone is welcome – wheelchair users and standing dancers alike. You don’t need to have any experience, everyone is a beginner at some point!
Last Saturday 11th November saw dancers from across the country attend the UK National Para Dance Sport Championship 2017 in Ware, Herts.
The day kicked off with a showcase performance from our own GB competitors, Paula Moulton and Gary Lyness dancing their international Freestyle routine to Empire State of Mind. The couple are currently 7th in Europe in Freestyle Combi in the official World Para Dance Sport rankings.
Strictly Wheels club team featured 6 debutante dancers and for most of them, it was their first UK National Championship.
First to take the floor was the Conventional Singles, with Kay and Rachel competing against each other in the Ladies Class 2 and Goz in Class 1. Goz and Rachel shone through to take Gold with Kay taking Silver in the Class 2. Single Men Class 2 Gold was clinched by Joe.
Taking to the floor for their 2nd National were Lloyd and Goz, the largest category – Combi Class 1, the pair danced well, with great timing and footwork, but just fell short of retaining their title, to take the silver medal.
The afternoon session featured the Freestyle events in Singles, Combi and Group dances.
Joe from Strictly Wheels wowed the crowd with a confident performance of his self-choreographed Singles routine to take the Gold Medal. He took to the floor again with sister, Holly to also take his 3rd Gold of the day in the Combi Class 2 Freestyle.
The judges praised the all dancers for showing their enthusiasm on the floor together with good technique and demonstrating the character of each dance.
Other memorable performances from other competitors came from WOWD’s Katie in the Single Ladies Class 1 Freestyle and the team from SportsAble’s Group Freestyle.
Paula said “We’re super proud of our dancers some who have only been learning for 6-7 weeks to have had the courage to get on the floor and take part in their first competition. To see the emotion on their faces when their results were called was amazing! It just goes to show what wheelchair dance can do for people and we hope more people can come and join us to learn.”
Full photos from the competition are on our Facebook page.
If you are interested in learning to wheelchair dance our classes take place in Manchester each week. Everyone is welcome no matter what your background or experience.
This Saturday 11th November 2017 sees the UK Wheelchair Dance Championship in Ware.
We took time out to speak to Strictly Wheels club members, Lloyd and Goz, about their preparation for the competition.
You’re about to compete in the UK Wheelchair Dance Sport Championship; how do you feel about it?
Goz – I was a little worried as we were still working on a new routine only last week, but in the last few days it’s come together. Now I am excited about competing in the UK National Championships and also I don’t want to mess up because I have a few friends coming from all over the country to watch us dance!
Lloyd – It’s our 2nd time competing in the UK Wheelchair Dance Championships, so on some level we kind of know what to expect event wise. We’re going back as reigning UK National Champions in Debutante Combi and whilst still not perfect our dancing is definitely stronger than last year. My heel leads are all in the right place and I am even starting to master the “toe lower” in ballroom dances. As with every competition, we don’t know who’s going to be there competing against us, but hopefully we are technically stronger.
In the UK Championships where would you like to be placed, what would make you happy?
Goz – I know it’s about taking part and I am the quieter one in the partnership with Lloyd but deep down, I do want to win and retain the title. So, we have to come first place. We have to win!!
It’s also my first time doing Debutante Single Ladies so I will be happy with any result as long as I perform well.
Lloyd – As the returning champions I am going into the competition wanting to win again and retain that title! Winning would make me happy as I feel we would have shown development and hopefully show we are ready to progress from Debutante level. But equally taking my competitive hat off, I would be happy knowing we danced our socks off with 3 solid routines to be proud of!
What kind of preparation goes into a competition?
Goz – We practice every week for two hours at the club. Outside of our lessons Lloyd and I practice whenever we can mostly at lunchtime at work. We’ve even been known to practice in corridors!
Lloyd – I would literally describe preparation for a competition as blood, sweat and tears. We have weekly classes, but leading up to a competition Goz and I practice daily during our lunch hour working on things such as posture and our hold. This also helps stamina and gets us used to dancing to different music and recognising the beat in the music. There’s also the glam side of things coordinating our outfits and going shopping for those all-important accessories. We literally think of everything from footwork to appearance.
How important is Wheelchair dance to you?
Goz – To be honest I never thought dance would be part of my life. And when I first tried it some years ago, I absolutely hated it. It wasn’t until I found a partner that really understood dance, and enjoyed dancing that I started to appreciate and enjoy it a lot more. Even if my partner decided to give up, I would still continue to dance. I enjoy meeting new people and learning new skills even though I might complain about it sometimes! Most of all I love competing and hope one day to compete in the IPC World Championships and represent Team GB at that level.
Lloyd – Over the past year it’s grown to be an important part of my life, and I am so pleased Goz asked me to be her partner. When I was younger I tried ballroom and Latin and used to compete in Disco dance. I am also an avid fan of “Strictly”, so dance is a big passion of mine. Never in a million years did I think I would be competing for my country in sport both Nationally and Internationally. It’s so rewarding – I have met lots of new friends, learnt a lot about myself but most importantly my friendship with Goz has become stronger. We hope to progress and dance at Amateur level and top level in the future.
Would you recommend taking part in Wheelchair Dance?
Goz – Yes! I am constantly trying to persuade people to join the club, and experience the benefits of wheelchair dance! So, yes!
Lloyd – I love dancing and would encourage anyone to just do it, but if you want to push yourself and do something different, then definitely try wheelchair dance! You can do it socially and it’s a great way to meet new friends and help understand disability issues. You can also push and challenge yourself and compete both nationally and internationally. It’s opened doors for me that I never thought were possible. It’s definitely a hobby that can turn into a passion and that’s the great thing about wheelchair dance
Follow us on Social Media for updates live from the competition on Saturday.
If you want to try Wheelchair Dancing, then why not pop along to one of our FREE classes!