The sixth International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Wheelchair Dance Sport World Championships are about to start. Now that the stage and facilities at the Football Hall are ready and awaiting the dancers, athletes are hours away from their own well-trained performances. Competition is taking place in Minsk, Belarus, from 25-26 October, and bringing in a total of 137 athletes from 17 countries around the world.
There are eight events in total, including the Duo Standard (Class 1 and 2), Duo Latin (Class 1 and 2), Combi Standard (Class 1 and 2) and Combi Latin (Class 1 and 2). Tomorrow, the organizers will be busy working on the classification of the athletes, the press conference and a Technical meeting.
Last month, the final steps were taken in the capital of Belarus for the 2008 IPC Wheelchair Dance Sport World Championships from 24 to 25 September. The last site visit was conducted by the IPC Wheelchair Dance Sport Manager Athena Charitaki in Minsk, together with the local Organizing Committee, the Belarusian Federation of Wheelchair Dance Sport, and the Rhythmic Sportive Gymnastics. Several meetings were held with all parties, along with other authorities which are also involved in the organization of the championships.
Wheelchair Dance Sport involves athletes with a physical disability that affects the lower limbs. Wheelchair dancers may participate in “combi”-style dancing with an able-bodied (standing) partner or duo-dance for two wheelchair users together. Standard dances include the waltz, tango, Viennese waltz, slow foxtrot and quickstep. Latin-American dances include the samba, cha-cha-cha, rumba, paso doble and jive. There are also Formation dances for four, six or eight couples dancing in formation.