Mary Verdi-Fletcher has been a pioneering force in the development and success of physically integrated dance for over 30 years. One of the world’s first and foremost professional wheelchair dancers, she has worked and studied with such esteemed artists as Donald McKayle, David Rousseve, Dianne McIntyre, Dennis Nahat, Keith Young, Ben Vereen, Christopher Reeve and many others.

Seeing the need for training and career opportunities for dancers of all ability levels, Ms. Verdi-Fletcher created the multi-arts Dancing Wheels School in 1990. Attracting students from around the globe, the school is becoming the worldwide center for physically integrated dance. As an educator, Mary has conducted master classes and lectures and has consulted with notable arts institutions across several continents.

Also a tireless arts administrator and advocate, Mary has helped develop state and national programs for arts and disability service organizations and has worked to help to pass significant pieces of legislation. Her efforts have paved the way for others in their quest for full and equal access.

Mary’s recent professional affiliations include Executive Committee Member for the Careers in Arts Summit, Program Committee Member for The Association of Performing Arts Presenters Annual Conference, Advisory Board Member for The Arc of Greater Cleveland and Board Member for Ohio Arts Presenters.

Dear Friends,

Welcome to The Dancing Wheels Company & School website. It is my pleasure to have this vehicle to share our Company’s philosophy, unique artistic programs and achievements. I’d also like to introduce and thank the wonderful people who bring the organization to life, including our administrative team, our dancers and teachers, and our Board of Directors. The combination of incredible talent and energy found throughout our entire team has made Dancing Wheels a doorway to full inclusion in the arts for all. We believe everyone has the right to participate, and the diversity of age, ethnicity, gender and physical ability in our Company proves that everyone can.

Our work for education, advocacy and inclusion keeps the momentum rolling toward our goal of being a distinguished center for integrated dance with worldwide reach. By living our mission, we’ve discovered new opportunities and partnerships that strengthen the Company & School. We have also gained many dear friends from within and beyond the arts world. On the artistic front, our extensive body of work from distinguished choreographers continues to showcase diverse artistic choices through fresh concerts each year. With a large anthology of styles to choose from, our tours keep the wheels in motion with guest appearances and performances around the globe. Across concert halls and university stages, we’ve been welcomed by passionate and supportive audiences who deeply embrace the concept of integrated dance.

As we move toward our 30th anniversary and beyond, we will continue to work toward expanding the vision of integrated dance worldwide. And we invite you to join us in developing programs and partnerships that will enlighten your communities with this exciting new art form. Together, we can leave a lasting legacy of artistry, education and endless possibilities for all.

Warm regards,

Mary Verdi-Fletcher
President/Founding Artistic Director

 



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