Atlanta-based dance group raises disabilities awareness

Rachel Daniels

Dancing and physical disabilities were combined last night in Van Meter Hall when the Full Radius Dance program began.

The performance began with pairs of dancers – one in a wheelchair and one not – slow dancing across the stage to John Sebastian Bach.

About 80 people attended the two-hour program Monday night. They were able to watch people with physical disabilities dance equally with those who do not live with a handicap.

The eight-person cast performed three dance programs and one scripted performance. Music included Bach, Ludwig van Beethoven, Simon and Garfunkel and traditional Appalachian songs.

The performances were all wordless except the final one. Interpretive dance was used to help the performers with expression. During the last skit, performers introduced themselves and performed a small skit focusing on a disabled person facing an unpleasant airline experience.

Dance assistant professor Pam Walden created the program in 1993 with 1983 Western graduate Douglas Scott in Atlanta. When she moved to Bowling Green and began teaching at Western last fall, she wanted the group to perform here.

“I thought it would be a good program to do in Bowling Green,” Walden said. “It raises important questions about people with disabilities.”

Matt Davis, coordinator of Students with Disabilities Services, assisted Walden in getting the program together.

“Students are excited about the awareness this program will hopefully raise,” Davis said. “People will be able to see that people with disabilities can still participate in these type of events.”

In addition to the performance on campus, there will also be two shorter shows at local elementary schools. Scott will also participate in an open forum at 2 p.m. today in the fine arts center recital hall. A Full Radius Dance workshop will also be held for those with disabilities at 10 a.m. tomorrow in Diddle Arena.

Reach Rachel Daniels at [email protected]