First U.S. wheelchair ballroom competition to be held in Bloomfield Hills this Saturday

Competition is Saturday, July 16, at 2 p.m. at The Roeper School; tickets are $15

Michigan is becoming the wheelchair ballroom dancing capital of America. The groundbreaking "Dance Mobility" program was created at Fred Astaire's dance studio in Bloomfield Hills. Seven years later, they are behind the first national wheelchair ballroom competition this weekend.

BLOOMFIELD HILLS, Mich. – Michigan is becoming the wheelchair ballroom dancing capital of America.

The groundbreaking program “Dance Mobility” was created at Fred Astaire Dance Studio in Bloomfield Hills.

Once a month, the studio offers wheelchair ballroom lessons for free. The RIM Foundation funds the program.

Seven years later, the same studio is behind the country’s first national wheelchair ballroom competition.

“I want people to understand that people in wheelchairs can dance,” said Zoey Spencer.

Spencer is only 11 years old and uses a wheelchair to get around and never thought dancing with her dad was possible; Dance Mobility showed her how.

“I get to experience dancing with my dad, and he gets to experience with me,” Spencer said.

Dancing together is a bonding moment the pair can’t get enough of, bringing tears to the eyes of Dance Mobility Co-Founder Evan Mountain.

The joy he gets to see on Spencer’s face when she dances sparked the idea to host the first national wheelchair ballroom competition.

“In the United States, it’s really just in its infancy, said Mountain. “In Europe and in Asia, wheelchair ballroom and dancing is a big sport.”

Saturday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at The Roeper School in Bloomfield Hills, more than 20 wheelchair ballroom dancers from across the country will perform, including Spencer and her dad.

Judges from as far as the Philippines will also be there. They are inviting you to come out and support them.

“Any exposure that we get is good because it enlightens people to what can happen,” Mountain said.

The studio was able to get Spencer a special dance wheelchair that makes it easier for her to spin and for her father to lift her.

For event and ticket information, click here.

About the Author:

Megan Woods is thrilled to be back home and reporting at Local 4. She joined the team in September 2021. Before returning to Michigan, Megan reported at stations across the country including Northern Michigan, Southwest Louisiana and a sister station in Southwest Virginia.