The Concordes have been dancing in wheelchairs since the 1970s. Members have come and gone, but our vision has stayed the same - to enjoy the fun and exercise of dancing. After all, why shouldn't disabled people get to dance just the same as the able-bodied? That's why we also dance PHAB - which means "Physically Handicapped and Able-bodied" (or "seats and feet", as we sometimes call it!). Every Monday night from 7.15pm, we dance socially and also practice for demonstrations, events and competitions - when we compete, we're there to win (demonstrated by a strong record in national competitions and festivals), but it's not all shouting teachers and muttered cursing. (Which is not to say that doesn't happen, too!)
We currently have nine dancers in wheelchairs, and six able-bodied dancers - between us making up a team in wheelchairs, a PHAB team, and several who enter competitions and demonstration events in couples (both in wheelchairs and mixed).
Because we're a charity, we do unfortunately have to charge fees for our weekly sessions - mainly to cover the costs of our local practice venue, Christ Church C of E VC Infant School, Christchurch Avenue, Downend, Bristol BS16 5TG. (Click here for a map and directions to the hall)
Our current fee per session is £3 (a small additional fee applies for those also taking part in the PHAB team with an able-bodied partner). Discounts are available for children.
Charging the small weekly fee also contributes to the cost of transport and accommodation for competitions and events.
All images and content copyright 2012 Rob Chilcott and the Concorde Wheelchair Dancers
We dance to a wide range of music, both traditional and contemporary. Some of our dances include:
I Don't Feel Like Dancing (Scissor Sisters)
Better Together (Jack Johnson)
Turn It Up (The Feeling)
Patience (Take That)
The Barn Dance, Glendevon, Saunter and Flower Waltz, among many other social dances
A great range of cha-chas, tangos, waltzes, rumbas and other ballroom styles
Some of our dances are fast, others are slow - but we'll make sure all our members are as fully involved as they can be, regardless of their mobility range or ability. To see the Concordes in action and really get a feel for what we do, follow the link to our YouTube videos on our "Photos and Videos" page.