Vancouver, Canada (PressExposure) February 06, 2009 -- Ballroom dancing for people living their lives in a wheelchair is a reality at the KinsmenRecreation Centre in Tsawwassen. The Centre has received a grant from the Federal Government from New Horizons to develop a wheelchair dance program.
Toni Triplett of the Canadian Wheelchair Dance Academy (CWDA) has been hired to develop the program. A main focus will be seniors' recruitment and participation together with opportunities for leadership, training and community involvement through a train the trainer component. In addition volunteers and wheelchair users of all ages are welcome to participate in the program. "This is an excellent opportunity for people of all ages to connect", said Triplett.
A pilot project of the wheelchair dance program is underway with the official start date for the program, February 9, 2009. Requests for exhibitions across the Lower Mainland have been received, including one for a performance by the group at the BC Disabilities Games in July.
"We are very excited about the grant" said Triplett "and we hope to expand the program to other areas of the Lower Mainland and BC". But for a successful program "we do need volunteers and we look forward to welcoming wheelchair users from the community".Wheelchair dancing, although new to Tsawwassen and perhaps even to the Lower Mainland, has been in existence for about 20 years and has been pursued in more than 40 countries worldwide. "The important thing about wheelchair dancing is that it allows people who live their lives in wheelchairs to enjoy movement and rhythm in a social environment. They are paired with able bodied volunteers who learn steps and techniques for the various dances, such as waltz, foxtrot and Latin dances, and the volunteer and wheelchair user dance as a team," said Triplett. "It is truly amazing how well this works and the result is beautiful. When you see the smiles on the faces of the participants you know what a great program it is."
A recruitment campaign is underway for volunteers and anyone interested may contact Susan Martin, Volunteer Coordinator at the Kinsmen Recreation Centre. Practice and training sessions will be held weekdays and Saturdays at the Centre.
Any wheelchair users that are interested in wheelchair dancing please contact Instructor Toni Triplett at 604-862-8761. Practice and training sessions will be held weekdays and Saturdays at the Centre.
For further information contact:
Toni Triplett, Instructor