Dance Launch in Manchester

Wheelchair dancers are masters of spin
A spectacular wheelchair dancing showcase is being held this Saturday (15 May) at Wythenshawe Forum. The showcase is the culmination of a series of classes taught by Wythenshawe resident Ray Bulpitt, who was also one of the consultants to the recent BBC3 Dancing on Wheels series.

The ballroom and Latin dancing classes were open to wheelchair users and their able-bodied friends or relatives and the course was the first of its kind in the north of England. 'Strictly Wheelchair Dancing' was open to all ages and abilities, but was aimed at people who wanted to progress to a high standard and perhaps go on to become wheelchair dance coaches themselves.
And now, after 10 weeks of training, the dancers are ready to demonstrate their skills in the main hall at Wythenshawe Forum from 1pm to 4pm on Saturday. Di Morgan-Hill, who was runner-up on the Dancing on Wheels series will be in the audience, along with Sue Cummings, president of the Wheelchair Dance Association.

Ray Bulpitt said: "The participants have put in a tremendous amount of effort and will be going on to national competition level. To dance in a wheelchair takes a great deal of control, co-ordination and determination. But, the results are worth it and the exhilaration from being at one with the music is incredible."Councillor Mike Amesbury, Executive Member for Culture and Leisure at Manchester City Council, said: "I think the audience on Saturday will be blown away by how graceful the dancers are. This has been a fantastic course and it's great that Manchester has been leading the way in a sport which is also an art form."
Disability Sports UK has backed the Strictly Wheelchair Dancing project, which has been jointly funded by Manchester City Council and NHS Manchester. Laura Roberts, Chief Executive of NHS Manchester, said: "Saturday sounds like it is going to be an exciting day. I'm certain that the dancers will not only be entertaining, but will really enjoy it themselves. I'm delighted to hear that so many people both able-bodied and disabled have taken part in the course."

(Manchester City Council news feed, 14th May 2010.)

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