We are changing the times for our wheelchair dance classes from Wednesday 11th July.
The new class time will start at 7pm til 8.30pm.
Weekly classes feature a mix of social, fun dances for everyone to learn and take part and also dances for competition with teaching of technique and individual routines.
Each week we also have a practice session from 8.30pm-9pm for competition dancers. The practice session only features music for competition dances and there will not be any tuition for this session. Dancers will be able to practice on their own.
We’ll be taking a some breaks during the summer months to relax and enjoy some much needed time out.
NO classes are held on the following weeks:
All other weeks there will be class as usual. We’ll be back full time every week from September getting ready for the UK National Championships in October.
Full details of classes can be found here.
We’ve had a great year for our first full year as a charity with many highlights!
It’s time for a well earned break and rest.
Here’s the times of our classes over the Christmas and New Year Period.
14th Dec – 7.30pm
21st Dec – No class
28th Dec – No class
4th Jan – No class
11th Jan – 7.30pm
We’ll see you all in the New Year for another great year of Wheelchair Dance!
This week Strictly Wheels move our weekly Wheelchair Dance Classes to the more modern facilities at Trinity Sports Centre.
The new facilities based at Trinity High School, just outside the city centre are larger to give our dancers the chance spread out and use a big floor area to improve their skills for dancing.
We’ll be using the “Gym”, a large purpose built sports hall but there are also dance studio facilities with mirrors at the venue for those important competition routines!
We are very excited to make Trinity Sports Centre the home for Wheelchair Dance Sport in Manchester and the training centre for our top Team GB athletes, Paula and Gary.
Paula said “It’s great to have a modern facility that is fully accessible and a great floor to dance on!”
Our Wheelchair Dance Classes run every Wednesday from 7.30pm – 9pm and are open to all abilities – most of our dancers are beginners who are learning to dance for fun and some are working towards their first competition – the UK National Championship in October.
Make sure you check our Events pages to see when the next class is on.
The address for classes is: Trinity Sports Centre, Cambridge Street, Manchester M15 6HP
One of our Trustees, Rebecca, joined us for the first time in a Wheelchair Dance Class, here’s what she thought!
The lights dim, music flares and the click of heels begin. This is ballroom dancing!
I have always had a passion for dance since I was a small child. Watching dancers glide across the dance floor with such elegance and grace, or moving so quickly that watching their feet makes you dizzy! Plus the feathers, the sequins, and the dramatic make up – what’s not to love? So when I was invited to join a Strictly Wheels dance class, as a standing dancer, I jumped at the chance.
I have been an active dancer since the age of four, doing the usual childhood classes of ballet, tap and modern. However, as an adult it has been a couple of years since I have taken part in a class. So I was a little nervous, as I wasn’t sure what to expect from a wheelchair dance class. However, my nerves soon disappeared as I received a warm welcome from Gary, Paula and my fellow dancers and within minutes we were on the dance floor.
Our warm up started with a line dance, which was a great laugh and after a few minutes of watching Gary strut his stuff we were soon into the swing of it. A Sequence Waltz soon followed and this was my first opportunity to dance as part of a couple. Through the dance we learnt the correct hold, positioning and rhythm (as well as the steps). What struck me was there is not a lot of difference between dancing with a standing dancer or a wheelchair dancer; it is all about ensuring you have technique, trust and a good rapport.
Our final dance, the samba , was an exhilarating, exciting dance that’s fast – really fast! My feet went everywhere they shouldn’t, and each time I thought I had mastered the steps I ended up facing in the wrong direction. But time and practice will help; I am determined to get it right!
Each dancer was given equal attention and support, however, it was evident that this attention wasn’t due to class size but Gary and Paula’s style of teaching. Gary would jump in a wheelchair to go over moves, and Paula was on hand to give my dance partner and I tips on making turns tighter and cleaner. I never felt silly for getting things wrong, and they were patient and had helpful tips. I tend to always take too larger steps when I dance, but Gary explained moves should not go outside of my shoulder width – simple solution and it works! My dance partner asked if the dances were modified based on people’s disability, and I was delighted to learn they are tweaked to account for dancers’ ability, rather than disability – using what works!
Whether a wheelchair dancer, a standing dancer, an amateur or a novice, I would recommend the classes to everyone. It was a great night; I kept fit, learnt new skills and started some nice friendships. Personally I can’t wait for next week, and who knows in time I might be buying some sequins and feathers for my first competition!
Over the last few years we’ve had some amazing opportunities to meet many different groups of people and introduce them to wheelchair dancing through wheelchair dance workshops. Often these are one off sessions, such as the National Naidex Exhibition or IIC however we have also had the opportunity to give long term support to other groups.
For the last 18 months we have had the privilege to work with alongside a group of Manchester based schools who already had a dance programme but wanted to expand and improve their offering with our wheelchair dance workshops. In that time the popularity of wheelchair dancing has increased so much the number of children taking part has exceeded the places available so some children have to take rotate when they attend sessions!
Through wheelchair dance the children have not only increased their dance skills but improved their day to day wheelchair skills. Their confidence has been boosted so much that some of them have even taken part in 2 international wheelchair dance sport competitions. It has been great to develop a long term relationship with the children and the schools.
We have also been committed to providing support to Whizz Kidz, a national charity program, especially at their camps, by supporting them with dance sessions and peer support and mentoring. These sessions go down really well proved by the number of teenage boys who end up enjoying dancing!
It sessions like these that really make our organisation worthwhile; being able to pass on skills and inspire people of all ages to get moving and discover the joy of wheelchair dance, whether they use legs or wheels!
“I just wanted to say a huge thank you for delivering the dance session last week. The kids loved it and got so much out of it. They wouldn’t stop talking about it and ‘A’ in particular wouldn’t stop dancing all Camp.”
Cat Marsh – Whizz-Kidz