Rethinking Dance and Disability


In this episode of DanceCast, Mary Verdi-Fletcher shares her history founding and directing Dancing Wheels, a company and school based out of Cleveland, OH that has been uniting the talents of dancers both with and without disabilities since 1980. Mary was one of the first professional wheelchair dancers in the US, and has inspired many to follow her path through her desire to provide full and equal access into the world of dance. In this interview, she looks both backward and forward, appreciating the strides that have been made for dancers with disabilities, as well as discussing what more still needs to be done.


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Mary Verdi-Fletcher has been a pioneering force in the development of physically integrated dance for over 30 years. She has worked with Donald McKayle, David Rousseve, Dianne McIntyre, Dennis Nahat, Keith Young, Ben Vereen, Christopher Reeve, as well as many others. Mary created the multi-arts Dancing Wheels School, a worldwide center for physically integrated dance. She has also conducted master classes and lectures across several continents, as well as helped develop state and national programs for arts and disability service organizations. Her efforts have paved the way for others in the quest for full and equal access.

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