Impacting Lives
Wellness Gains and More

Since 2008, contributions from Foundations, Corporations and individual donors have enabled WDO to provide over 900 adaptive dance classes, at no charge, to wheelchair users of all ages and abilities and volunteers who partner with them.

Our wheelchair-using dancers report a variety of wellness gains from regular participation in WDO’s adaptive dance activities

Among those documented:

  • Increased upper body and core strength
  • Improved balance and respiratory control
  • Increased endurance, range of motion and muscle tone
  • Increased self-confidence and self-esteem
  • Reduced stress
  • Increased social connections
  • Increased life and leisure satisfaction

“Now I go to social events and dance with everyone. My wheels become my feet, and I dance all night.”

– Yolanda Z., Roller –

Partnering To Expand Our Impact

Innovative partnerships with other nonprofit organizations, healthcare providers and educational institutions are paramount to WDO’s extraordinary impact. Focused on inclusion, we team up with disabled veterans groups and organizations for people with spinal cord injuries, muscular dystrophy, spina bifida, cerebral palsy, Parkinson’s disease and other physical limitations to expose and engage more people to the benefits of wheelchair dancing.

These are a few examples of how WDO partners to expand our positive impact:

  • WDO and the Adaptive Sports and Association collaborate to introduce wheelchair dancing to special needs children and physically challenged in grades K-12, attending ASRA’s yearly summer camp program.
  • WDO collaborated with Sharp Rehabilitation Center to design a one-day workshop to teach physical therapists, recreational therapists and other health professionals how to incorporate music and dance into their patient care programs. Health Professionals from hospitals and institutions around San Diego and North County raved about the hands-on approach to teaching this one-day workshop.

“Through wheelchair dancing, I’ve made lots of new friendships, have lots of fun and it’s good exercise for a woman my age (92). Now that I feel stronger, I’m going to check out wheelchair tennis and try out the beach wheelchairs.”

– Jean Deutsch –

This Is How We Roll!

WDO’s heart-stirring, wow-inducing dance performances at high-profile national, regional and local events; our annual Dance Ability Showcase in San Diego; and performances at popular local venues raise awareness of wheelchair dancing and inspire more wheelchair-users and volunteer “walkers” to participate in our free, adaptive dance classes and programs.

These are some events where WDO has performed in recent years:

  • Live Arts Fest, a celebration of diversity in movement
  • Los Angeles Abilities Expo, yearly since 2010
  • San Diego Senior Olympics
  • Sharp Grossmont Hospital Gala Fundraiser
  • Soldiers Who Salsa Dance Program
  • Festival of the Arts, Torrey Pines Kiwanis yearly fundraiser to support organizations that sponsor programs for the disabled community
  • ISA World Adaptive Surfing Championship Opening Ceremony

WDO raises awareness of the benefits of wheelchair dancing through presentations at workshops and seminars for healthcare professionals, physical and recreational specialists, special education teachers and Rotary and Kiwanis clubs in San Diego.