Wheelchair DanceSport

Wheelchair Dance
Senang Hati-Diah Larasati-Wheelchair Dance
Highest governing body World DanceSport Federation WDSF
First played 1968 Sweden
Contact yes
Team members single competitors, doubles, or teams
Mixed gender yes
Type indoor
Equipment Wheelchair
Venue dance hall
Country or region worldwide
Paralympic 1998[1]

Wheelchair DanceSport is a partner dance competition and Dancesport where at least one of the dancers is in a wheelchair.


Wheelchair couple dances are for two wheelchair users or for one wheelchair user with a "standing" partner and include standard dances such as waltz, tango, Viennese waltz, slow foxtrot and quickstep and Latin American dances such as samba, cha-cha-cha, rumba, paso doble and jive. There are also formation dances for four, six or eight dancers.[2]

Wheelchair dancing started in Sweden in 1968, originally for recreation or rehabilitation, with the first competition held in 1975. The first international competition was also held in Sweden, in 1977. Several regional and international competitions followed and the first World Championship was held in Japan in 1998. Since 1998, Wheelchair Dance Sport is governed by the International Paralympic Wheelchair Dance Sport Committee (IPWDSC), although it is not part of the paralympic program. The sport incorporates the rules of the World DanceSport Federation (WDSF).[2]



  • Combi: dancing with an able-bodied (standing) partner
  • Duo: dance for two wheelchair users together
  • Formation: dances for four, six or eight couples dancing in formation

athletes are placed into one of two classes:[3]

  • LWD 1: 14 points or less
  • LWD 2: more than 14 points

World Para DanceSport Championships

Edition Year Host City Country Events
11998Nagano Japan
22000Oslo Norway
32002Warsaw Poland
42004Tokyo Japan
52006Arnhem Netherlands
62008Minsk Belarus
72010Hannover Germany
82013Tokyo Japan
92015Rome Italy
102017Malle Belgium

European Para DanceSport Championships

Edition Year Host City Country Events
11991Munich Germany
21993Oslo Norway
31995Duisburg Germany
41997Härnösand Sweden
51999Athens Greece
62001Arnhem Netherlands
72003Minsk Belarus
92007Warsaw Poland
102009Tel Aviv Israel
112014Łomianki Poland
122016Kosice Slovakia

Asian Para DanceSport Championships

Edition Year Host City Country Events
12016New Taipei City Chinese Taipei


Wheelchair dancing is a popular social and recreational activity, with participants in over 40 countries.[4] The physical benefits of wheelchair dancing include the maintenance of physical balance, flexibility, range of motion, coordination and improved respiratory control. The psychological effects of ballroom dancing are social interaction and the development of relationships. For social dancers, it is an opportunity to engage in a fun and a friendly event with others. For competitors, it assists in the development of fair play, sportsmanship and communication skills. Wheelchair dancing is an activity that integrates the wheelchair user and able-bodied person.[5]


In February, 2008 the University of Delaware Collegiate DanceWheels Program was created to instruct students in wheelchair dancing. This is the first accredited course of its kind in the United States. The program was developed in conjunction with the American DanceWheels Foundation through a grant from the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation.[6]

See also


  1. "Wheelchair Dance Sport". International Paralympic Committee. Retrieved 30 October 2011.
  2. 1 2 "About the Sport". IPC Wheelchair Dance Sport. International Paralympic Committee. Retrieved 30 October 2011.
  3. Classification
  4. Rogers, Avery (12 November 2001). "Wheelchair Dancing". ExploreDance.com. Retrieved 6 November 2011.
  5. Goldberg, Kenny (21 June 2011). "Wheelchair Dancing Is On A Roll". KPBS. Retrieved 6 November 2011.
  6. Buck, Crystal (29 January 2008). "UD to offer nation's first wheelchair dance course". UDaily. University of Delaware. Retrieved 30 October 2011. Includes a picture of a dancing couple.
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