RWB dance program helps people with mobility issues

Explorability is a unique dance program at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, designed for people with cognitive and physical mobility challenges. And it's changing people's lives.

Explorability designed for people with cognitive, physical mobility challenges

Instructor Jacqui Davidson with a student at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet's Explorability program. It helps adults with varied movement abilities attain new heights. (Bruce Monk)

Imagine being limited in mobility, either due to physical or cognitive challenges, and then imagine being able to express yourself through dance. 

Explorability is a unique dance program at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, designed for people with cognitive and physical mobility challenges. And it's changing people's lives.

Jacqui Davidson, who teaches the Explorability program, uses rhythmic movement and music in her classes.

"We do lots of upper-body work because for many people, stability tends to be an issue when you have a disability," she explained.

"I have folks in wheelchairs so we do lots of upper-body things, which helps improve cardiovascular. We also do a lot of work with arms — reaching helps with flexibility in the upper body."

Davidson sees a big improvement in her students, especially in the area of confidence.

"As we move through the program, I ask them to challenge themselves a bit more, to try something they haven't tried before, which can be scary," she said. "But it makes a huge difference in their level of confidence."

Classes are held every Wednesday afternoon at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, for anyone who is interested in signing up.

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