Reaction to Strictly Come Dancing's first wheelchair user contestant? — Scope | Disability forum
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Reaction to Strictly Come Dancing's first wheelchair user contestant?

Cher_Alumni
Cher_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 5,741 Disability Gamechanger

It was reported yesterday that Strictly Come Dancing (SCD) producers were set to announce a wheelchair user as a contestant in this year's series. Off the back off of Rose Ayling-Ellis' success there was much to celebrate, so how did people react?


Scrolling through my twitter feed for my usual celeb gossip fix yesterday, I was struck by news that a wheelchair user was rumoured to be part of this year's SCD line-up.
The disabled people I followed reacted positively, declaring it a step (or wheel) in the right direction, presenting a more inclusive, diverse bunch of celebs than series past.

However in today's indy100, Liam O'Dell reports on some ableist slurs that met the SCD gossip mill, saying: 
... one [person] describ[ed] the possible plans as “beyond ridiculous” and another wrote the dancer competing against non-disabled people “can’t work” and “isn’t fair on anyone”.
“There is a reason there is a separate Paralympics,” they fumed.
These comments left disabled people and allies alike defending the right for all to participate. With an example from Sweden's SCD showcasing how beautifully wheelchair users can dance and compete.

https://youtu.be/ZuKUXGbEqyA

Over to you:

  • What do you think to the rumours of a wheelchair user participating in SCD?
  • What do you think lies behind some of the negative reactions expressed by the public?
  • Will you be watching?

Tell us in the comments below!
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Comments

  • Grinchy
    Grinchy Community member Posts: 1,764 Disability Gamechanger
    I think its a good idea, my wife watches the show, and enjoys it, so i am aware of it, i'm all for inclusivity, i just hope they get a fair shot at it
  • SueHeath
    SueHeath Community member Posts: 12,420 Disability Gamechanger
    I am a follower of strictly and yes i can except that people will have a negative reaction to this, not only did Rose do well but look at Ellie, she was brilliant and people were negative about her.
    In my mind as long as the producers of the show choose the right dancing partner then bring it on. 
    The more we see disabled or same sex couples on the TV the more people will find it the norm eventually.
    It's peoples own imagination that puts up a negative, so once its seen how mobile, agile the dancer in the chair will be, hopefully people will be stunned by how much a wheel chair user can do in their chair. That's my thoughts anyway.
  • onebigvoice
    onebigvoice Scope Member Posts: 731 Pioneering
    SueHealth  It's peoples own imagination that puts up a negative, so once its seen how mobile, agile the dancer in the chair will be, hopefully people will be stunned by how much a wheel chair user can do in their chair. That's my thoughts anyway.
      While I champion fair play in every thing, there are others that work for the Government that if you remember when we had the Paralympics' took some of the benefits from people that attended and took part since the benefit they were receiving even in a  wheel chair was then paid at a lesser rate.
      This was then tried to be used as a "yard stick" to measure other people's capabilities against them, and one comment being if they can manage it so should you its just you don't want to?
      We as a disabled community are compared every day with every task against an able bodied person, and some employers will not change the work place to accommodate this.  Yet a disabled person will (if their was such a thing as 110%) give more than some who just clock in and do their work and go home.

      For me, like Wheel chair rugby, there is a level playing field ( NO PUN INTENDED) all are wheel chair bound, this also goes for basket ball.  So where it the comparison?  Put the "normal people in a wheel chair?"  Would that be fair?
  • Hannah_Scope
    Hannah_Scope Posts: 7,316 Disability Gamechanger
    edited February 2023
    I always watch Strictly, my team can account for how many times they hear me sing the theme tune! :D I cannot wait to see someone who is a wheelchair user perform. There was a dancer on The Last Leg, last night who is a wheelchair user and it was beautiful to see. 
    Hannah - She / Her

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  • kazasid
    kazasid Community member Posts: 3 Listener
    Of course a wheelchair user must be allowed to showcase their dancing talent on SCD and their partner,  Why ever not? They can win or they can lose, they still get feedback and viewers can enjoy it as long as the standard is high
  • Hannah_Scope
    Hannah_Scope Posts: 7,316 Disability Gamechanger
    Even if the standard isn't as high, if the wheelchair user is learning to dance, it's still a lot of fun :) 
    Hannah - She / Her

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  • SueHeath
    SueHeath Community member Posts: 12,420 Disability Gamechanger
    SueHealth  It's peoples own imagination that puts up a negative, so once its seen how mobile, agile the dancer in the chair will be, hopefully people will be stunned by how much a wheel chair user can do in their chair. That's my thoughts anyway.
      While I champion fair play in every thing, there are others that work for the Government that if you remember when we had the Paralympics' took some of the benefits from people that attended and took part since the benefit they were receiving even in a  wheel chair was then paid at a lesser rate.
      This was then tried to be used as a "yard stick" to measure other people's capabilities against them, and one comment being if they can manage it so should you its just you don't want to?
      We as a disabled community are compared every day with every task against an able bodied person, and some employers will not change the work place to accommodate this.  Yet a disabled person will (if their was such a thing as 110%) give more than some who just clock in and do their work and go home.

      For me, like Wheel chair rugby, there is a level playing field ( NO PUN INTENDED) all are wheel chair bound, this also goes for basket ball.  So where it the comparison?  Put the "normal people in a wheel chair?"  Would that be fair?
    Hi - i'm getting very mixed messages from your comment. when i first read it this morning, i went away and thought about it, because the last thing i would ever want to do is offend people. I'm still not sure if i've offended you, i hope i haven't.
    I do not know the political side of what you have said re the government, so i can not quote on that.
    What i would like to say is surly if a person in a wheelchair, "wants" to have a go at strictly they should be allowed and why not. Your quote on "normal People" i find a little strange perhaps "non wheelchair" user would of been better.
    I wonder if any one has ever tried to set up a game of basket ball or wheel chair rugby players and invited non chair players to have a go ??
  • janer1967
    janer1967 Community member Posts: 21,964 Disability Gamechanger
    I watched wheelchair dancing on a TV programme once and was amazed at the performance they were fantastic.  I think it's great to be brought to strictly and will look forward to watching 
  • onebigvoice
    onebigvoice Scope Member Posts: 731 Pioneering
    SueHeath said:
    SueHealth  It's peoples own imagination that puts up a negative, so once its seen how mobile, agile the dancer in the chair will be, hopefully people will be stunned by how much a wheel chair user can do in their chair. That's my thoughts anyway.
      While I champion fair play in every thing, there are others that work for the Government that if you remember when we had the Paralympics' took some of the benefits from people that attended and took part since the benefit they were receiving even in a  wheel chair was then paid at a lesser rate.
      This was then tried to be used as a "yard stick" to measure other people's capabilities against them, and one comment being if they can manage it so should you its just you don't want to?
      We as a disabled community are compared every day with every task against an able bodied person, and some employers will not change the work place to accommodate this.  Yet a disabled person will (if their was such a thing as 110%) give more than some who just clock in and do their work and go home.

      For me, like Wheel chair rugby, there is a level playing field ( NO PUN INTENDED) all are wheel chair bound, this also goes for basket ball.  So where it the comparison?  Put the "normal people in a wheel chair?"  Would that be fair?
    Hi - i'm getting very mixed messages from your comment. when i first read it this morning, i went away and thought about it, because the last thing i would ever want to do is offend people. I'm still not sure if i've offended you, i hope i haven't.
    I do not know the political side of what you have said re the government, so i can not quote on that.
    What i would like to say is surly if a person in a wheelchair, "wants" to have a go at strictly they should be allowed and why not. Your quote on "normal People" i find a little strange perhaps "non wheelchair" user would of been better.
    I wonder if any one has ever tried to set up a game of basket ball or wheel chair rugby players and invited non chair players to have a go ??
      I am so sorry and apologise for my comments, it was not meant as it read.
      When I made reference to the Government it was about the Paralympics' and ATOS who actually funded the Games, only problem was they were also the assessment company for DWP.
      The problem was some of the competitors on arrival at home had their benefits either removed or reduced?  I was receiving comments from DWP to say if these people can do this or that then you don't qualify you just need more exercise?
      Ricky Tomlinson has been one of our champions for many years and having met him a few times, a very interesting and knowledgeable person, I must admit. and when talking about "normal people" it was not meant as a nasty remark, but meant as able bodied, the same way when talking about the "courts" I mean the Tribunals Service. 
      I completely agree with you if anyone want to "have a go" and has an impairment then look to see what is around to help you.  Talking of seeing, how do Blind people run or sprint?  They are teathered to a seeing person, so the only restraints to any one doing any thing is can you think out side the box?
      Again how do you jump out of an aeroplane if blind? You piggy back......  
  • emancherry33
    emancherry33 Community member Posts: 3,612 Pioneering
    It's about time this happens, with the girl who was deaf won it last time.the so called normal people will have to wake up and realize that a person in a wheelchair can be a great dancer. I'm not a fan of strictly but loved watching the wheelchair rugby world cup or league world cup that's been on the t.v
    Should be on weekly if I could do it.
  • bionictadpole
    bionictadpole Community member Posts: 12 Courageous
    Good, my good friends Strictly Wheels appeared on Britain's Got Talent 12 years ago and the response was overwhelmingly positive, they got through to the live shows,  I can't wait to see it! 
  • Margare93222061
    Margare93222061 Community member Posts: 425 Pioneering
    Some people lead sad lives and I would be good for them to take an interest in what goes on around them
  • Globster
    Globster Community member, Community Volunteer Host, CP Network, Scope Member Posts: 2,319 Disability Gamechanger
    This is a great start to showing how disablity can be shown in a positive light on television  and things are on the way on the rise up  and but I feel this is  important start step in bringing positive change for people with disabilities  :)

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  • Cher_Alumni
    Cher_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 5,741 Disability Gamechanger
    I saw that Sophie Morgan, the wheelchair using contestant, had this to say about The Sun's front page announcement of her inclusion yesterday:
     

    Can you understand her frustration and what does this say about broader media representations of disabled people? 
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  • CountryMimi
    CountryMimi Scope Member Posts: 145 Pioneering
    Yes, yes & yes!

    So I actually trained as a dancer when I left school and one of my many teachers was a real advocate for dancers with mixed abilities.

    We were taken to The Lowry to see Candoco Dance Company perform and there were a range of dancers with mixed abilities, from amputees, wheelchair users and a dancer who was deaf.

    A well known physical theatre piece called 'The Cost of Living' by DV8 includes the late David Toole who also happened to be one of the many cast members who performed in the London 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony.

    It honestly astounds me that shows like Strictly and Dancing on Ice are so late to the party with inclusiveness of introducing disabilities to their shows and I think this is the massive shake up that is needed.

    It's amazing at the way people can adapt their bodies to create such beautiful art. David Toole had such amazing upper body strength and it added such a different dynamic to pieces he performed in.

    Dance can be beautiful and to an absolute solid standard regardless of somebody's physical ability. It's the technique that increases that standard. When I first started dancing I kid you not, I had about as much fluidity as a wooden spoon, but as I put the work in and improved my technique, the smoother my fluidity and rhythm became. 

    I stopped dancing back in 2012, I didn't have my physical disability at the time, but I experienced some really nasty bullying that had an impact on my mental health and I just couldn't continue. I always intended on going to class, but sort of took my health for granted and never considered there might not be a time where I couldn't return to that. I did however enjoy teaching the kiddos I looked after at nursery and as a nanny a few different technique exercises 💖

  • CountryMimi
    CountryMimi Scope Member Posts: 145 Pioneering
    Don't know if anybody has been watching BGT, but several dancers with disabilities on this year. Musa Motha had cancer as a child and had to have one of his legs amputated - gosh his technique is absolutely flawless! The dancing duo, Nathan and Joanne - Nathan has Downs Syndrome, but he's got so much sass and showmanship! Then Unity was just absolutely beautiful 🥺
  • onebigvoice
    onebigvoice Scope Member Posts: 731 Pioneering
    Yes, your quite right.  It nice to see that if you do set a goal you can succeed.  But even if you don't get to the same skills as those.  Inside you can be anything you want to be.
      My hat goes out to all that don't give up...... And scopes E Mail address goes out to those that need to talk or discuss any options...... pop a question and you never know we could have discovered next years dancer, or a poet, I know we have a few on here, or gardeners, just go to the coffee lounge and say hello.
      So for those that don't post that often.... HEEEEELLLLLOOOOOO.  see you in the lounge.

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