I was so certain that I was up on most new noteworthy disabilities trends. In fact, a popular phenomenon had totally slipped by my radar: wheelchair dancing.
I am pleased to report that even in this corner of the globe, there are groups, troupes and courses in both the dance and its instruction - of which I was unaware until this week.
YouTube is abuzz with videos of wheelchair-bound performers and competitors from all over the the United State, from the Philippines, from Holland, from Portugal and beyond. They have either wheelchair-bound or standing partners.
Here is a wheelchair-bound duo:
And here is a proud, daring legless dancer who, at one point, leaves the wheelchair to dance on the floor. .
This next video shows a standing husband and wheelchair-bound wife competing on "Holland's Got Talent"; they appear to win rave reviews from both judges and audience but my Dutch is nonexistent so I can't be sure:
And here is a former dancer, Auti Angel, who resumed her career after becoming paralyzed in a car accident. The film quality leaves much to be desired but Angel's spunk and talent shine through nonetheless.
Angel joins three other impressive young women in wheelchairs to form the Push Girls. The group have their own TV show on the Sundance Channel:
I can't imagine a program of this sort being broadcast on any of our local channels, at least not for another few years. But nowadays acceptance and admiration for people with disabilities - wherever it occurs - has a ripple effect that benefits us all.
While C. will never dance, here she is (below) demonstrating her own fancy footwork:
Or view it on the Vimeo site.