While many Americans were cheering our Olympic athletes on in Tokyo, Fred Astaire Dance Studios was tracking the results of the World Para Dance Sport International Competition in Prague.
Para Dance Sport incorporates the skill, grace, and physicality of competitive dance, but at least one of the dancers has an impairment that affects the lower limbs. Para dancers may dance alone, as part of a pair with one standing partner, or two wheelchair dancers. Group dances may also be part of the competition. Para dance started in Sweden in 1978, where it was popular for rehabilitation purposes. The first competition was held in Vasteras, Sweden, and featured 30 couples.
The event in Prague in mid-August marked the second competition of the 2021 season, which ends with the World Championships in Ulsan, South Korea, in November. In Prague, 48 Para dancers from 10 different countries across three continents showcased their talents. The host nation made its international debut with a performance from Anna Kratka and Vitezslav Razek. Para dancers in Prague performed standard dances, such as the slow foxtrot, waltz, and quickstep. They also danced a variety of Latin dances and single conventional options, like the tango and jive.
Americans Giselle Toth and Derrick Williamson participated in the competition last year, which was held online following the pandemic outbreak. The pair came in fifth at the Freestyle event in Prague.
Para Dance Sport athletes are an inspiration, especially for people who appreciate the joy of ballroom dancing. Fred Astaire Dance Studios applauds their skill, stamina, and talent. Here are some clips from past performances.
In this video, Julius Obero and Rhea Marquez from the Philippines capture the hearts of the audience in a moving performance.
American Para dance competitors, Toth and Williamson, perform to “Cruel Summer” at Arete Dance Center in Los Altos, California.
In this number, the Para dancer is center stage as she performs solo at a competition.
Learn to Dance at FADS
If seeing these dancers in action is giving you the urge to hit the dance floor, Fred Astaire Dance Studios can guide you on your journey. Dancing is a great way to increase your physical fitness, and it’s a fun, creative outlet. Our private or group lessons are taught by skilled instructors who will help you learn some skillful moves and have fun.