They Shall Dance

It is hard enough to be a ballroom/dancesport dancer in this world, although a supreme privilege, at the same time. You know the time, skill, money and a hundred other things that are involved in becoming a successful ballroom/dancesport dancer. Of course, if you love to dance, then you follow your bliss.

I would like to share with you another kind of dancer, just as passionate as you, facing the same situations you do, with one other element added in. There are dancers in this world who have physical disabilities but are proud to represent ballroom dance. Wheelchair dancing is largely considered a sport and at the same time, is elegant and very graceful. Whether you know it or not, these dancers even compete in competitions and are commonly known as gifted athletes.

If you follow us, I frequently post shots of these fine dancers on social media. In 2015, the Fordney Foundation, was one of the proud sponsor’s for American DanceWheels Foundation at the exciting Pan Am Games in Toronto, Canada. I would like to pay tribute to another fine group, World Para Dance Sport. These organizations and many others like it are to be congratulated, for outstanding devotion, in providing a platform for people with physical challenges to have the opportunity to dance creatively. They prove, if there is a will, there is a way!

Just to tell you how serious and professional wheel chair dancing is, here are some interesting facts. It began in 1968 in Sweden for recreational and rehabilitation purposes. From there, the sport’s popularity grew. In 1975, Sweden hosted the first competition of its kind. In 1977, Sweden organized the first international competition. In 1988, Japan hosted the first world competition. There have been nine more world championships with the latest one taking place in Bonn, Germany, 2019. You can see, just how popular and relevant this kind of competition is in the world. By 2016, the sport was renamed as Para Dance Sport from wheelchair dancing.

You may have heard of b-boys (there are also b-girls) which is generally the term used for a certain type of break dancer or Breaking, as it’s also called. It is an athletic style of street dance in the Hip-hop dance category, originating in the early 1970’s. But I want to tell you about a certain group of b-boys that is distinguished from other Break dancers. This year, at the 2019 Vancouver Olympics, a group of b-boys with physical disabilities, stole the show and came away with top honors! The name of this group is ILL-Abilities.

“No excuses, No Limits” is the motto of ILL-Abilities dance group. ILL-Abilities perform all over the world. Through their cool, stylish performances, they are able to inspire many other physically challenged children to “get up there” and believe in themselves. ILL-Abilities is all about defying the limits we put on ourselves and spreading the message, “Anything is possible, if you don’t create excuses.” Nothing more needs to be said, a good way to live life!

**We have received contributions from individuals who would like to have a dear relative or friend who passed on remembered that loved to dance or was a dance aficionado. We call these memorial contributions. Perhaps you would like to have someone memorialized in this manner. Make a donation and give us their name. We will soon put on our website a yellow brick road to add their name to a brick as a memorial to that person. This contribution will assist future generations of dancers and help keep young people more positive and healthy.

Thought Of The Week:

“Failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be” – John Wooden




Shane Meuwissen is the Media Specialist for Fordney Foundation.  He is a former dance instructor who know works with his company Slow Motion Dance Videos capture the beauty of dancing. If you would like to learn more about Shane and his video work, visit his website