Category Archives: Art in Motion

The School of Dancing Wheels Ensemble collaborates with Unveil, ArtWorks Dance Performance Company

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This past Saturday the dancers of the Performance Ensemble took class and rehearsal with the students from the after school program ArtWorks. These students are in internships learning how to create and be in a professional dance company. The two groups will be working together throughout this semester in creating some works to be performed in December. The ArtWorks dance company Unveil were asked to write about their experience at Dancing Wheels and their responses are below. The two groups will be meeting again November 3rd.

Najader

My experience with Dancing Wheels was great. I learned that it’s people first. It was nice to meet and dance with students and people with disabilities. They weren’t as different as anyone else. They still had emotions and feelings, and to me they were pretty happy. It was fun to see and learn how it feels to be in a wheelchair and having to use all of your upper body strength. I can’t wait to go back and dance with Dancing Wheels again!

Marcus

I enjoyed working with the Dancing Wheels Company School Ensemble. It was a very fun experience. I loved when we worked on choreography. The techniques were insightful and interesting.

Olivia

This Saturday at the Dancing Wheels Dance Company I had a good experience. I enjoyed moving with the dancers with disabilities, and I was inspired by how they and the whole company don’t let their disabilities hold them back! I really learned not to be discouraged or let something hold me back in dance or in life. I loved everybody’s positive attitudes and learning how to ride and move in the wheels chairs!

Marrisa

My experience at Dancing Wheels was awesome. I had a really good time working with the School Ensembles. I really liked how we did different dance moves with the wheel chairs. I didn’t know you could use wheel chairs in all of those different ways. My favorite part was riding on the back of the electric wheel chair and keeping a pose while doing it.

Samantha

As I walked into the Dancing Wheels studio, I was hesitant, nervous for new experience and excited for new friends. Once I saw Motion teaching hip-hop, I thought it was all over. I have no rhythm. Hip-hop is not my favorite style of dance, but Motion helped me understand how to move. Once we started to interact with the dancers with disabilities, I was amazed. They were keeping up with all standing dancers phenomenally. Some could retain better then I could. Then we tried getting in their shoes, or I should say chairs. The experience was eye opening and extremely fun. I am ecstatic I have that memory and anticipating the next visit to be just as great!

Katrina

I went to a small Quaker elementary school where there were at least two special needs kids in every class. I think the best thing you can do with special needs is to talk to them, and meet them at their level, and include them. I strived to do that last Saturday. It was interesting to learn wheelchair techniques, but I was acutely aware of the fact that, unlike some of the girls in the class, my experience in the wheelchair was only temporary.

Willia

My experience in working with dancers with disabilities was interesting. I was surprised to know how much the students talked. I always thought they were quiet but going to Dancing Wheels proved otherwise. They were as eager as I was to learn and I found it refreshing. They were also fun to work with because the shapes that we were able to create were unique. I also did an arabesque on one of the student’s motorized wheelchair, which I thought I couldn’t do but I tried it and accomplished it.

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West Virginia Tour

Did everyone know that Dancing Wheels goes on tour? Like a band or a broadway show, we travel to different venues and perform for various audiences. For example, today, Dancing Wheels went to West Virginia Northern Community College.

In the morning we traveled to the college which was about 3 hours away from our studios. Upon arrival we were all happily surprised with lunch that our presenters provided for us! After filling our tummies, we started our tech rehearsal.

Tech rehearsal is when the performers in each piece find their proper placement in the new space. Since every venue we perform in is different, sometimes there are adjustments needed to make it work.

Today’s tech was special because we had an audience…Bus 52. (@bus52 on twitter) Bus 52 asked if they could film our tech rehearsal as well as doing some interviews with some of the dancers. This was fun and interesting for everyone because we’re not used to having a crowd before the performance actually starts.

Once tech was finished we had an hour to get “snazzed up” for the show. Hair and makeup is important for accentuating a dancers face. After everyone was freshened up, we gathered on stage for a company warm up. This helps us warm up muscles and joints as well as becoming aware of each other in preparation for moving together in performance.

Show time!

We performed, “Far East of the Blues”, “Missing You” and “Walking on Clouds”

At the final bow the audience rose to their feet in a standing ovation. This always makes us feel like our message was received. After the performance we like to talk with the audience for feedback and their overall experience. Sometimes they even ask us for our autographs! At the end of it all we said our goodbyes and headed back on the road to home. It was a full and fulfilling day with our Art in Motion!