Strictly Wheels prepare for the UK Wheelchair Dance Championship 2017
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!
Posted on: 9th Nov 2017, by : Strictly Wheels