John and Corey wanted to make their first dance at their wedding a memorable experience for themselves and their guests. But accomplishing that was a bit tricky.
John, a C7 quadriplegic, didn’t want a “traditional” (aka boring) first dance with Corey. “Most people – even when neither of them are in a wheelchair – just stand there and sway back and forth,” shares John.
Spicing up their first dance
Corey began researching dance studios near their home for help with choreographing their dance. “I called 20 dance studios in the Lansing area, and some of them were willing to try (wheelchair dancing),” shares Corey. “But nobody had any experience with it.” Finally, Corey found the Fred Astaire Dance Studio, the only studio in Michigan with a “Dance Mobility” program where instructors teach dance lessons to participants in wheelchairs.
“During the first lesson, we were fumbling all over, and I think we both thought, ‘How are we going to do this?'” shares John.
"We were always worried about me running over her wedding dress or her foot, but when you do the spins and turns – it’s not an issue when you understand the way the chair moves, and how you can play off each other.”
Five lessons later, the couple had a beautifully choreographed wedding dance, complete with spins and dips.
And the best part is that John and Corey were able to keep their lessons a complete secret from their friends and family! Watch the video as they surprise their wedding guests with an unforgettable first dance.
Share this story with someone who wants to try out wheelchair dancing!