Practised for recreational and rehabilitation purposes, dancing in wheelchairs originated in Sweden in 1968. Els-Britt Larsson, a wheelchair user herself who worked for the Swedish Handicap Federation, was one of the pioneers.
News of people dancing in a wheelchair was spread and it became a very popular activity, especially in Sweden. In 1975, the first competition was organised in Västeras, SWE, with a total of 30 couples taking part. Spectators were fascinated and inspired by the sport and very soon competitions started to be organised all over the world.
In 1977, the first international competition in Wheelchair DanceSport took place in Sweden. After several regional and international competitions, the first World Championships were organised in Japan in 1998. The same year, Wheelchair DanceSport became a sport under the Governance and Management Authority of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), but it is not yet part of the Paralympic Programme.
The IPC Wheelchair DanceSport Technical Committee coordinates the sport under rules that are based the World Dance SportFederation Rules. The competition programme consists of the five Latin (Cha Cha Cha, Jive, Paso Doble, Rumba, Samba) and the five Standard (Slow Foxtrot, Quickstep, Tango, Viennese Waltz, Waltz) dances.
Wheelchair Dance Sport involves athletes with a physical disability that affects the lower limbs. Different forms are contested.
Participants in Wheelchair DanceSport have the option of using electric wheelchairs.
International Paralympic Committee (Wheelchair DanceSport)