Posted on March 4, 2014
Strictly Come Dancing professionals Kevin Clifton and Karen Hauer (pictured) are to become patrons of the Wheelchair Dance Sport Association (UK) (WDSA (UK)), a charity and governing body for wheelchair dance and wheelchair dancesport in the UK.
The WDSA (UK) aims to promote and develop wheelchair dancing as a sport and leisure activity across the UK. The charity also aims to raise the standard of coaching and competition in the UK, as well as enabling those who would otherwise be excluded from dancing to be given the chance to be involved from grassroots level all the way up to competitive.
Karen said: “Kevin and I have always believed that dance can touch the hearts of everyone and no one should be excluded from the joy of moving to music in whatever capacity that may be. We are thrilled to support the Wheelchair Dance Sport Association and we look forward to playing an active part in helping the charity achieve its objectives and to make dance accessible to all.”
Kevin and Karen met and started dancing together in the hit dance show Burn The Floor and have since toured the world performing on Broadway and in the West End. Their unique dance style is influenced by their very different backgrounds: Karen was born in Venezuela and brought up in New York and, of course, Kevin-from-Grimsby has put his hometown firmly on the British map!
With Karen and Kevin both supporting the charity, the WDSA (UK) looks forward to harnessing their skills and experience to enable wheelchair dancesport to become an activity that is open to all and that can develop and grow to show that anyone can dance, have fun and be the best they can be.
Christa Udell, ballroom and Latin director of the WDSA (UK), added: “We’re absolutely thrilled that Kevin and Karen are supporting us. Having their support, skills and experience and for helping us to raise the WDSA (UK) profile and getting the word out to the disability community across the UK is fantastic. Their patronage of the association will help us to significantly make a difference to the lives of disabled people.”
In the March issue of Dance Today, Zoë Anderson investigates dancing for people with disabilities.
Photograph: Christopher Mann