#Fun4thedisabled’s Vanessa Harris interviews Sara Lawrence-Sucato and Tanya Ewell of Cleveland’s Dancing Wheels about their integrated dance organization, and how they not only perform dance, but run a school to train dancers as well.
“ I love to teach. I love to coach, dance, whether it’s young children all the way up to adults, the feeling that they get when they experience dancing is something that I live for. And I like to share that with those other people. I take those qualities and things that I see and I apply it to myself or I’m inspired for myself, or to give that to other people. So that’s what I love too.”
Fun4thedisabled: Good afternoon, I’m here with Sara Lawrence Sucato and Tanya Ewell of Dancing Wheels.
Sara Lawrence-Sucato: Well, as you may or may not know dancing wheels company is a physically integrated Dance Company for people with and without disabilities, composed of professional dancers. We also have a school attached to our organization. So the overall broad mission is to educate, entertain and advocate through inclusive dance worldwide. And that goes on beyond the company to the school portion and our education and outreach really just providing those opportunities to people of all abilities to experience dance.
The Dancing Wheels Company as school, we do performances and educational outreach opportunities. So our performances range from small guest appearances with only two or three dancers, all the way up to our big, broad main stage performances. And we do about three of those per year in Cleveland proper, and then the rest of the performances we do all over the nation.
Tanya Ewell: Advocacy in the city schools, different community centers we’ve been to, and just museums, art museums, everything like that we’ve been a lot of places but we can always reach more people.
Title: The Benefits of Wheel Dancing
Fun4thedisabled: Anybody can get involved with dancing from wherever they are!
Tanya Ewell: and it also really good for exercise like I know sometimes people with sit down disabilities often gain weight let’s just be honest. The doctor told me if I didn’t work out that I would. So, as the years went past and the dancing I’m very well fit for a person with a disability and I’m just like really I feel good. So those classes in that movement and doing it every day, like it really does help and it makes you like happier, you have something that you’re going to
do every day, other than just wake up. You know sometimes people need that.
Title: Sara and Tanya Share Their Passions In and Outside of Dancing
Tanya Ewell: I do love music. I love to sing. I played flute High School in Florida, different bands. Nobody ever knows that but yeah i was a band geek. But I love to suggest anything musically inclined. I’m usually it sets the tone and I’m from Motown So,
Tanya: I’ve been around music my entire life.
Sara Lawrence-Sucato: Yeah my passions are still revolving around dance, but I love to teach. I love to coach, dance, whether it’s young children all the way up to adults, the feeling that they get when they experience dancing is something that I live for. And I like to share that with those other people. And I also like to watch dance a lot. My husband is a dance critic, and I get to go with him, fortunately it’s a lovely thing, I get to go with him to see a lot of dance, and I just love that I get, I like to watch dance. I take those qualities and things that I see and I apply it to myself or I’m inspired for myself, or to give that to
other people. So that’s what I love, too.
Sara Lawrence-Sucato: Sure, well we tour nationally and internationally, like you said, up to about 70 to 80 performances a year. And I think I mentioned before, those can be like those smaller guest appearances with smaller casts, all the way up to the full company traveling. And then internationally yeah we’ve been invited to teach or perform, it’s usually in smaller numbers, just because that’s more comparable for touring internationally, but we hope to bump that up and and really go as far as we can go, coming up.
Title: Join Dancing Wheels!
Sara Lawrence-Sucato: Well, in addition to the company we have a school attached to our organization that offers classes in the evenings and on weekends. Although our student base is relatively small right now, we can consider all of the people that we reach when we go places and teach our workshops, or send a teaching artist from Dancing Wheels into the school. And so in that way we reach probably thousands of students per year.
Sara Lawrence-Sucato: Yeah. That’s my favorite part, because they’re like yeah you do that. Sure. And our other forms of training, are you know anyone could come to our Summer Dance Intensive. We have a one, sometimes two week summer dance intensive for adults, usually held in June. In fact, we know that the dates this year are June 17th through 21st.
And so, you know, if anybody is wanting to come to Cleveland and study and train with us just block out that time and your schedule, and you come and accompany the class. Learn maybe a piece of our repertoire, set a new piece with the company and get a lot of training that way.
The third way, we have a manual a printed publication that can be ordered from our website to, it’s just around $30, and it’s Dancing Wheels’ Physically Integrated Dance Manual and the DVD, which shows translation.
We didn’t talk about that yet no translation for how we make movement between stand up and sit down dancers basically. So, we can take already established dance movements, for instance, in ballet there’s a movement called the Tendo stand up as a camera. I’m going to reach my legs . Now I’m going to do a passe and jabbeke and Tanya is translating their see her doing that Developpe.
Tanya Ewell: Yeah we call that translation
Sara Lawrence-Sucato: And then also, we have available on our website, a virtual class series. So from wherever in the world you can subscribe online to watch these company classes and even participate from home.
Title: Dancing Wheels: Future Events
Sara Lawrence-Sucato: In June we have a Gala in June 14. The dance USA national conferences coming here to Cleveland, all over all over the United States but we get it here in Cleveland. The 12th through the 15th. So it’s really amazing because we’re going to do a big performance, and hopefully get a lot of people coming from dance USA to our performance that happens at the same time, and about this performance, it’s very it’s, it’s great it’s going to be great, great, and here’s why. We have three choreographers who themselves are choreographers with disabilities Yeah. And, in fact, dancing meals has never worked with a choreographer with a specific disability, that is revealed are known to us. And so two of these choreographers are wheelchair users, and one is deaf. So this is a new thing for us. and we’re really excited. We’ve worked with one of the choreographers already. And the other two we have yet to work with, we will do that this spring.
Title: Support Dancing Wheels!
Tanya Ewell: We have all sorts of media outlets. I go in the city a lot so a lot of the time people are like, Wow, you’re so good. They asked me questions and I always say hey, go to dancingwheels.org, or you can look it up on Google you can go on YouTube and just type dancing wheels in and you’ll get all types of video, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, we’re on all of those as well. You can also sign our sign up for our newsletter, every month if just go to dancingwheels.org, and follow
the clicks and points and links from there.
Subtitle: Dancing Wheels Social Media @Dancingwheels on Instagram Twitter Facebook
Sara Lawrence-Sucato: And I would like to say to you know the best way to support live dance and live art is by going and seeing it so whenever anybody out there can be our audience member or students or our friends, or our affiliate, we just love to get to know them.
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