Your chance to join the Strictly Come Dancing event for disabled dancers in Stevenage next weekend

PUBLISHED: 18:32 03 October 2017 | UPDATED: 18:50 03 October 2017

Last year's inclusive dance festival at Stevenage Arts and Leisure Centre

Last year's inclusive dance festival at Stevenage Arts and Leisure Centre

Archant

Do you live with a disability but love the chance to dance? Next weekend you can, when the Strictly Come Dancing for wheelchair-using, blind, deaf and mentally-impaired dancers from across Europe comes to Stevenage.

Last year's inclusive dance festival at Stevenage Arts and Leisure CentreLast year's inclusive dance festival at Stevenage Arts and Leisure Centre

Anyone who has a disability of any kind is invited to take part in this inclusive dance event, which brings world-renowned judges and dancers to the town’s Arts and Leisure Centre in Lytton Way.

Able-bodied dancers are welcome to dance alongside those living with disabilities.

The event’s official title is the British Inclusive Dance Festival incorporating the British Open Inclusive Dance Championship – and wheelchair sports competitors and officials from 10 European countries will be welcomed to the town.

Many competitors will also travel from clubs based across the UK.

The event on Saturday and Sunday, October 14 and 15, is promoted by Inclusive Dance UK chief executive Ray Bulpitt in partnership with Manchester-based Strictly Wheelchair Dancing.

The event was first held in Stevenage in 2014, and is the second largest international wheelchair dance sport competition held in the UK.

Austrian adjudicator Christa Udall said: “The event will unite both disabled dancers from the UK with their counterparts from Europe, and we wish all of the entrants the best of luck.”

The championships include categories for blind, deaf, and mentally-impaired competitors.

Mr Bulpitt said: “It’s exciting to stage this international event to include dancers in championship categories, and we are very excited to host visiting teams of blind, deaf, mentally impaired and physically handicapped competitors from Belgium, Finland, the Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Slovakia and Hungary.”

He added: “We are inviting dancers, choreographers, and teachers of different dance genres to join our team of specialists, who are working to develop inclusive dance in the UK.”

Wheelchair dancers may participate in ‘combi’ style dancing with an able-bodied (standing) partner, or duo dance with two wheelchair users dancing together.

If you want to watch the event you can buy a ticket on the door priced at £10 for adults and £5 for children or senior citizens. There is no charge for carers. Spectators are able to come and go freely throughout the day.

If you want to compete, email Ray Bulpitt on inclusivedanceuk@gmail.com or call him on 07828 201044.

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