It’s been a funny year to say the least…
We started off well in February beginning to prepare for the international competition season and UK National Championships in July then everything changed in an instant.
Covid-19 or Coronavirus arrived and we had to take the decision to immediately suspend classes in March.
It’s now August and we still are not back to classes yet.
Guidance from the UK government has recently allowed some forms of dance and exercise to commence indoors, however, there are many more factors we have to take into consideration for our members. Health conditions, the close nature of our dancing either in duo or combi form and keeping everything and everyone safe.
We have received guidance from our governing body – Para Dance UK for return to classes and taking this into account, we have taken the decision to suspend our public classes and courses until early 2021.
This wasn’t an easy decision, however, our priority is to keep our members safe and preserve our existing funding to run classes when we can have more people attend and keep them free as we have always aimed to do.
Elite Athlete training is also suspended until further notice and all national and international competitions have been cancelled, with the exception of the upcoming European Championships. Team GB unfortunately will not be taking part due to the risks involved and lack of ability to train.
We’ll keep people updated as and when we get more guidance and maybe we might be able to return before then, but without this and the impending flu season starting soon after we had no option.
We hope everyone remains well and safe through these strange times and we aim to be back dancing as soon as we can.
We are updating our Wheelchair Dance Class times from March 2020.
Our FREE open wheelchair dance class will now take place each 1st and 3rd Wednesday of each month.
Classes still start at 7pm – 8.30pm and will have a 30 minute practice session at the end.
The main class will feature social, sequence, line dances along with the Debutante Competition dances of Waltz, Quickstep, Samba, ChaChaCha along with others.
The 2nd and 4th Wednesday of each month will feature a CLOSED competition class. This class is for improver dancers who are training for competition or competing in Freestyle events which require additional 1 to 1 teaching. If you are eligible to attend this class you will be informed after attending the free open classes.
We’ve had a great year again here at Strictly Wheels with many medals from all our dancers both Nationally and Internationally!
It’s time for a well earned break and rest so here’s the details of our Winter Class Times 2019-2020.
Our classes will run as normal up to 11th December as the last class before Christmas.
18th Dec – No class
25th Dec – No class
1st Jan – No class
8th Jan – No class
15th Jan – No Class
22nd Jan – No Class
29th Jan – No Class
5th Feb – 7.00pm
12th Feb – ongoing weekly at 7.00pm
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 2020:
- UK National
- Dutch Open Championships
- Polish Open Championships
- Mainhatten Cup
- Malta Open Championships
- WPDS European Championships
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!
We’ll be having some breaks through the summer months from classes for a well earned rest and hopefully to enjoy the sun and some holidays!!
Check below for dates of classes.
3rd Jul – 7.00pm
10th Jul – 7.00pm
17th Jul – No class
24th Jul – 7.00pm
31st Jul – No Class
7th Aug – 7.00pm
14th Aug – No Class
21st Aug – 7.00pm
28th Aug – No class
Learn the basic techniques of Ballroom and Latin Combi Dance (Wheelchair user + standing partner)
from the UK’s top Para Dance Sport couple Paula Moulton & Gary Lyness
along with international coach, Accursio Romeo.
Includes the internationally recognised Debutante competitive dances – English Waltz, Quickstep and Samba.
Open to manual wheelchair users who are able to self-propel. Ideally with some experience, but beginners are welcome.
Standing dancers must have some experience and able to dance basic figures in each dance.
NO PARTNER NEEDED! Dancers will be paired and dance with each other on the day.
TICKETS / PLACES MUST BE BOOKED IN ADVANCE.
Places are limited and to allow an even spread of wheelchair users and standing dancers.
Hot/Cold Drinks are available to purchase at the dance studio.
Sunday 7th April 2019 – 1pm-3pm
Romeo Dance Academy, Old Bus Station, Milton Keynes MK9 1LR (opposite Milton Keynes Central Station)
£15 per person.
What age do I need to be?
16 and over
What transport/parking options are there for getting to and from the masterclass?
Pay and Display parking on site available. 2 minute walk from Milton Keynes Central Station.
What can I bring into the event?
Water bottles. Other drinks are not permitted in the Ballroom but are available to purchase in the bar area. Heel Protectors must be worn by standing dancers.
What are the access arrangements?
We have a wheelchair accessible entrance with lift & bathroom.
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