Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Dancers featured on Fox's SYTYCD, use wheelchairs

Derin has a slight (massive) obsession with the hit Fox summer show, So You Think You Can Dance. Set much like the American Idol format, but with dancers, the Thursday night results shows in recent years have always featured guest artists such as Lady Gaga and professional dancers (Alvin Ailey Dance Company to name one).

Two weeks ago, the guest performers were members of the AXIS Dance Company, a non-profit organization whose mission is:
  • to create and perform contemporary dance that is developed through the collaboration of dancers with and without disabilities
  • to teach dance and educate about collaboration and disability through community education and outreach programs
  • to promote and support physically integrated dance locally, nationally and internationally
The dance performed was done by one wheelchair user, and one able-bodied dancer. It was beautifully done, and most importantly, it didn't baby the wheelchair user in any way. This was not a pat on the back kind of dance. The man using the wheelchair was moving, lifting, and dancing just as much and just as effectively as the able-bodied dancer. Not only does this send the message that wheelchair users can do more than you or they think, but it also shows that able-bodied people don't need to be afraid to interact with them as they would anybody else. Well done to the AXIS Dance Company, and to FOX and SYTYCD for giving them a platform and including wheelchair users as performers and dancers too.

See the video below to watch AXIS perform: 

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