And They Danced!
Here's what we did in 2013. Stay tuned for 2014!
Wheelchair Hip-Hop Dancing
Presented by Auti Angel
These words—the mantra of wheelchair dancer Auti Angel—have not only motivated her to fulfill her own dreams, they have also been an inspiration to the people around her to never give up on their aspirations.
Auti was a dancer before her life altering accident in 1992. And she has been a dancer ever since.
Now, Auti will give a Wheelchair Dancing Demo and Workshop on all three days of the Expo to show people of all abilities that, no matter when their situations, they too can dance!
“Dance is a state of mind and an attitude,” Angel told one woman in a wheelchair who mistakenly considered herself a former dancer. “Not just a physical motion.”
Following her accident, Angel was determined to create and transform Hip-Hop moves to suit her new ability and embarked on a quest to put together "The World's First Hip-Hop Wheelchair Dance Crew."
Then, in 2003, she founded the Colours~N~Motion Dance Crew. This crew has travelled coast to coast entertaining audiences and motivating them to reach beyond any physical limitations to discover the dancer within. See them in action at a recent Abilities Expo:
Never one to slow her roll, Auti is also a star in the film Musical Chairs, a scintillating romance set against the backdrop of competitive wheelchair ballroom dancing. She is also one of the leading ladies in Push Girls, an inspiring new reality show—coming on the Sundance channel in June—which follows the lives of four charismatic, beautiful women who just happen to be in wheelchairs.
So, don’t miss the chance to meet Auti and learn some hot, hip hop moves at Abilities Expo!
Zumba for Special Populations
Presented by Corina Gutierrez
Corina Gutierrez was fed up with getting sick and feeling weak. Then, she heard about Zumba.
A local instructor welcomed Corina and her power wheelchair to attend a class and it changed everything. “At the end of the class, I was hooked,” recalls Corina. “This is for me. Zumba had my name on it!”
After dancing Zumba for just one class, Corina could already feel the positive effects. “Within the first two months, I just saw awesome results in my health,” she said. “My lungs started improving. My asthma wasn’t as bad. My range of motion was great. I started stretching. It was the best exercise ever for me.”
“Zumba transcends fitness because it’s not a boring old routine…you do over and over again. No, it’s a PAR-tay!” she laughed.
And what do you do with a party? Share it! Corina was so impressed with her experience and with the physical and psychological benefits that she became determined to bring Zumba to other people with disabilities.
Now Corina teaches Zumba primarily at the Enrique Barrera Community Center in San Antonio. Her 25 to 35 students are both ambulatory and in wheelchairs. The adapted version of Zumba incorporates a lot of hand movements and rolling “steps” with one’s wheelchair. And with moves derived from Latin dances like salsa, merengue and the cha cha, it really does feel more like a party than a workout. Corina also has a helper to demonstrate the foot motions to standing members of the class.
“I’ve heard a lot of positive feedback,” said Corina of her students. “They have seen a change in their health. Within one session, they say they can feel soreness in places that they’ve never felt sore before.”
And now Abilities Expo Houston attendees will have the chance to try Adaptive Zumba on Friday, August 3 at 1:00 – 1:45 pm. They will hear from Corina herself that the only limitations are the ones that you put on yourself. The message that she brings, that Zumba helps her carry, is to “love yourself, embrace life and live beyond your comfort zone.”
“I realized that my biggest disability wasn’t not being able to walk, it was not walking in my purpose,” said Corina. “And that’s what I want people to realize. And also, of course, dance and have fun while you’re realizing it!”
Adaptive Line Dancing
Presented by Houston Parks and Recreation - Adaptive Recreation Department
Line dancing is just one of many dance options that have opened up for wheelchair users in recent years. Wheelchair dancing continues to grow in popularity around the globe - more and more dance centers are offering wheelchair dance all the time. Enjoy a demo of wheelchair line dancing by local Houston dancers and then join the group to try it out for yourself. Wheelchair dancing is open to all attendees regardless of the type of wheelchair you use.
Abilities Expo has so much to offer. Don’t miss complete schedule of Expo workshops and events.