Educational Programs

Educational Programs 2017-04-19T18:34:35-05:00

Lecture Performances

With a composition of dancers representing a spectrum of age, ethnicity, gender, and physical abilities, The Dancing Wheels Company has the unique capability to connect with children and adults with and without disabilities on a very personal level.  We have reached over 5 million people since our inception, with a long and illustrious performance history in schools, universities, concert halls, libraries, and hospitals across the nation.  The cost for Lecture Performances ranges depending on program with travel and accommodations in addition to fee.

Standard Assembly-Based Lecture Performance

Perfect for K-College, this 45-minute to 1-hour program, including a question-and-answer session, brings together information about dance and disability related issues in a fun and informative manner.

The elementary school program is a way to reach children while they are young and impressionable.  Secondary and college age students learn an impactful life lesson of equality and determination. The Dancing Wheels Company shares the vision that dreams can become a reality.

Components of an assembly based lecture performance:

Disability, accessibility, the arts, and achieving one’s dreams:

Through dance and dialogue audience members will be entertained and informed in a truly unique and inspiring way.  After a series of energetic and engaging dance excerpts, audience members will hear a compelling personal story from a dancer with a disability.

This inspiring segment touches on their quest to live a formidable life despite barriers and obstacles that often exist, as well as the important aspects of accessibility.

Dancers also demonstrate the language of dance through adaptive translation with other methods of communication such as sign language, shadowing, and audio-description.  The final message relates to the founder’s dream to dance despite her disability, and her desire to make the arts accessible and available to people of all abilities. Personal dreams are achieved through perseverance, hard work, and belief in oneself.

All story book ballets are designed to be excerpt and used in school assembly program

Lecture Performance with Story Ballet Theme

Assembly-based, abbreviated version of a Mainstage Concert for in-school performances with full Company

Expanded Lecture Performances – Related Topics: History, Science, and Culture

Assembly-based in-school performances, generally with 4-6 dancers. These 45-minute to 1-hour programs, include a question-and-answer session, bring together information about dance, disability and related issues in a fun and informative manner.

  • Far East of the Blues World renowned choreographer Donald McKayle sought to capture the mood and imagery evoked in the great jazz legend Duke Ellington’s “Far East Suite”.
  • Sweet Radio Radicals features music from female singers and songwriters who made changes in society through their music.
  • Unconquered Warriors infuses traditional Chinese dance with modern dance and is based on the Asian culture of the Chinese Warriors.
  • Walking on Clouds Using stories of equality/Rosa Parks, this piece mixes words and movement to explore humanity and the boundaries of differences and equality, both emotional and historical-between people with disabilities and people of color.
  • Science: A Catalyst for Art in Motion is an interactive assembly program with dance, disability awareness, and curriculum-based subject matter centered on Newton’s Three Laws of Motion.  The program demonstrates such factors as force, acceleration and opposing reactions through the use of the Dancing Wheels Company’s highly technical wheelchairs used for everyday mobility and dance.  The program also touches on the science behind wheelchair construction, development, and the technologies that go into the composition of the chair’s metals, wheel circumference and design elements.


Residencies last 3-5 days and can conclude with a lecture performance with the Dancing Wheels Company.  Students will have the opportunity to learn the Dancing Wheels Technique while expanding on one of the following topics:

  • Making a Difference, a one day residency, incorporates dance with Social Studies and English Standards to address diversity, relationships, communication and accessibility.
  • Alice in Wonderland, Like You’ve Never Seen Before This contemporary, hip and slick production uses imagery and characters to take a kaleidoscopic trip through wonderland that is edgy but very much family oriented.
  • Daring to Be DUMBO! addresses issues surrounding the eradication of bullying in our communities.
  • Helen Keller: A Tribute to My Teacher incorporates women’s rights and disability.
  • Out of the Blues a four day in school residency that explores the history of jazz music with an emphasis on the great Duke Ellington and his revolutionary approach that changed the face of jazz.
  • The Snowman brings to life the captivating, and heartwarming children’s book and video, The Snowman, by Raymond Briggs.
  • Sweet Radio Radicals features music from female singers and songwriters who made changes in society through their music.
  • Unconquered Warriors infuses traditional Chinese dance with modern dance and is based on the Asian culture of the Chinese Warriors.
  • Walking on Clouds – incorporates civil rights issues by chronically the parallels between the African American, woman’s rights, disability rights and gay and lesbian rights in their quest for equality featuring emotional and historical stories, infectious music and chanting rhythmic sections.


Workshops provide participants an in-depth look at physically integrated dance through adaptive translation, integrated partnering techniques, and the opportunity to try dancing in a wheelchair.  Multiple instructors are involved to assist study in small groups.  A workshop may be tailored to the specific needs of your organization and lasts between 1-3 hours.

Master Classes

An instructor from The Dancing Wheels Company teaches a Master Class in various genres of dance such as modern, ballet, or jazz for participants of mixed abilities or specifically for disabled or non-disabled groups.

Note: To meet the needs of your school we can tailor an educational program just for you.  Fine Arts Content Standards and Non-Arts Content Standards are met in all educational programs.  For a list of the standards met, to select a program of your choice, or for more information please email the Dancing Wheels Tour Manager.