'Sit-Down' Dancers Take Center Stage at Dance/USA Conference

The Dancing Wheels sit-down dance company
Dancing Wheels Company


Dancers are on the move in Cleveland this week as the Dance/USA Annual Conference kicks off in Playhouse Square featuring showcases by 10 local companies

This comes on the heels of a new Arts Cleveland report revealing that our city's dance sector is "economically energetic" with nearly 400 jobs locally. 

According to the report, 150 of those jobs are choreographers and dancers working in Cleveland.

Dancing Wheels Company

One of those dancers is founding artistic director of Dancing Wheels Mary Verdi-Fletcher, who's danced in Cleveland for decades as a "sit-down" dancer.

Born with spina bifida, Verdi-Fletcher uses her wheelchair to propel herself across the dance floor in her integrated company of "sit-down" and "stand-up" dancers.

As part of the Dance/USA conference, Dancing Wheels presents a ground-breaking concert - "Reverse Reboot Reveal" - featuring world premiere pieces by celebrated disabled choreographers.

AXIS Dance [photo: David DeSilva]

A new piece by Marc Brew of AXIS Dance in California is also in the spotlight.  The "sit-down" choreographer and award-winning dancer created the work for the concert happening Friday night at Playhouse Square.

Brew's life changed several years ago after a car accident as he had to learn a new dance vocabulary of movement from his wheelchair.

The Dance/USA Annual Conference takes place June 12-15 in Playhouse Square which includes Dancing Wheels performance Friday night.

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