Wheelchair dance launches in Chichester

The first taster session, held at The Point, Scope's resource unit for people aged from 18 to 50, in Little Breach, Chichester
The first taster session, held at The Point, Scope's resource unit for people aged from 18 to 50, in Little Breach, Chichester

Wheelchair and inclusive dance classes have been launched in Chichester.

Angela Watkins has been leading taster sessions at various venues, to tie in with the 2016 Paralympics in Rio, and hopes to go on to develop regular weekly groups, with a long-term view of competing in the sport.

The first taster session was at The Point, Scope’s resource unit for people aged from 18 to 50, in Little Breach, Chichester, on September 13. Further sessions were held at The Fishbourne Centre on Thursday and Westgate Leisure Centre on Sunday.

The final taster session is on Saturday, October 1, from 2pm to 4.15pm, at Chichester Festival Theatre.

Angela said: “I have had a great deal of support from West Sussex County Council’s wellbeing team and the Festival Theatre, allowing the use of their space and resources to support the activity.”

Wheelchair dance is an official International Paralympic Committee championship sport.

Angela explained: “Wheelchair dancing is fun and engaging and can be done as either a leisure activity or as a competitive national and international sport.

“The aim of wheelchair dancing is to give participants in the community who are disabled, able-bodied, wheelchair users, with walking aids, visually or hearing impaired, learning disabled or having multiple disabilities the opportunity to dance and move to music.

“Wheelchair dancing is a social and therapeutic activity which is accessible to anyone, any age or ability so whether in a wheelchair or not, everyone can dance.”

Wheelchair dancing began in the UK in the late 1960s as part of a rehabilitation programme. The first competition was held in 1975 and since then it has become a world championship sport.

To book a taster session place, email angela@dance-innovation.co.uk and visit www.wdsauk.co.uk for more information on wheelchair dance generally.

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