Disability Dance and more in particular the 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 is governed by the International Paralympic Wheelchair Dance Sport Committee (IPWDSC), although it is not part of the Paralympic program.

In South Africa, Wheelchair Dance was first introduced in 1996 by Corrie van Hugten from Holland and saw the formation of a body called South African Dance Association for Learners with Special Educational Needs (SADALSEN). The association represented all schools of the people living with disabilities.


• 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


• Wheelchair Dancers,

  • Cripple Dance,

  • Semi Blind,

  • Blind,

  • Hard of Hearing


The aims of the Faculty are to create a sound and safe technique for the Disabled and Wheelchair dancers while understanding their disabilities and need to allow freedom of expression and musical interpretation and to educate teachers that dance within this Faculty is an ever-changing art form. Modern music, trends and different cultures will always give us new challenges and material to introduce to our dancers.


Presently, the SADF works with independent professionals and Government Supported institutions to advance the programmes of disabled dancing.

The SADF is however in the process of intensifying its relations with the relevant stakeholders to make this programme even a permanent programme under SADF


The Faculty has previously worked with Gladys Bullock who provided a sound foundation for the programme. Building from that, we have planned to conduct a workshop per annum which will stabilize the programme for the benefit of all our stakeholders and SADALSEN. The workshops will also provide teachers with modern trends and new ideas.