Wheelchair DanceSport

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Wheelchair Dance
Senang Hati-Diah Larasati-Wheelchair Dance.jpeg
Senang Hati-Diah Larasati-Wheelchair Dance
Highest governing bodyWorld DanceSport Federation WDSF
First played1968 Sweden
Team membersSingle competitors, doubles, or teams
VenueDance hall
Country or regionWorldwide
Paralympic1998,[1] 2024 (Upcoming)

Wheelchair DanceSport is a dance competition, individual, partner, team 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 a part of the paralympic program. The sport corporates 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[edit]

Edition Year Host City Country Events
1 1998 Nagano  Japan
2 2000 Oslo  Norway
3 2002 Warsaw  Poland
4 2004 Tokyo  Japan
5 2006 Arnhem  Netherlands
6 2008 Minsk  Belarus
7 2010 Hannover  Germany
8 2013 Tokyo  Japan
9 2015 Rome  Italy
10 2017 Malle  Belgium

European Para DanceSport Championships[edit]

Edition Year Host City Country Events
1 1991 Munich  Germany
2 1993 Oslo  Norway
3 1995 Duisburg  Germany
4 1997 Härnösand  Sweden
5 1999 Athens  Greece
6 2001 Arnhem  Netherlands
7 2003 Minsk  Belarus
9 2007 Warsaw  Poland
10 2009 Tel Aviv  Israel
11 2014 Łomianki  Poland
12 2016 Kosice  Slovakia

Asian Para DanceSport Championships[edit]

Edition Year Host City Country Events
1 2016 New 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[edit]


  1. ^ "Wheelchair Dance Sport". International Paralympic Committee. Retrieved 30 October 2011.
  2. ^ a b "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.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: postscript (link)

External links[edit]