Thameside Wheelchair Dancing
Thameside were invited to Harlow Fields, a special needs school at Harlow, Essex, to introduce dancing. This time however we didn’t need our wheelchairs. The school has a large percentage of students with walking and learning difficulties, but not fully committed to wheelchairs. We considered the best form of dancing to be Line Dancing and Margaret prepared and modified a selection of basic dances, reducing the amount of turn and simplifying complicated steps.
We had a very large class, a high percentage of which were supported and helped by teachers and carers. Margaret and I worked from opposite sides of the group so that they had somebody to follow when we changed the line of dance. We kept the number of dances to a minimum and completed the program with repeats and requests.
The trial proved to be very successful with every body including, pupils, staff, helpers and ourselves enjoying music, dancing with laughter throughout the afternoon. I’m sure it will happen again and it would be so nice to consider a combined day with Kingsdown School at Southend.
Later in the school year we were again invited to Harlow Fields, this time to teach Ballroom and Latin American for school leavers to dance at the school Prom.
We made two visits to work with a large class of enthusiastic pupils and teachers. We taught a basic waltz, a simple rhythm routine which could be danced to a variety of music and a basic Latin American sequence of steps for the Rumba and the Cha Cha. The project was entirely successful and it was wonderful to see the pupils, most of whom had walking difficulties, dancing as couples or with teachers. I’ve a feeling there may be another Prom next year.
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