Duo dedicated to wheelchair dancing

IT HAS been almost 20 years since Lynette and Chris Gordon-Smith began teaching wheelchair dancing across Australia and it will most likely be another 20, if ever, before they stop.

It is a passion to which the Hervey Bay pair is completely dedicated; it is their life calling.

Lynette fell in love with wheelchair dancing when world founder Corrie van Hugten visited Sydney from the Netherlands in 1990. Lynette trained under Corrie and received a diploma in Dancing Wheels.

In the years that followed she has taught dancing instructors and held classes from Cairns to Hobart. Lynette has also travelled to Malta for the Open Malta Wheelchair Dance Championships and to Warsaw for the Open European Championships. During this time Lynette became the highest qualified instructor in Australia.

In 2006, Lynette travelled with the first Australian Wheelchair Dance team to Boxmeer, in the Netherlands, for competition. Out of four events entered Australia won three medals.

It was around this time Lynette was approached to train Australia’s elite wheelchair dancers but she said: “I couldn’t see myself committing my life to training 40 people when there were so many retirement and aged care facilities (to visit).”

So Lynette and Chris continued their work training instructors and holding classes at Torbay Retirement Village, Baycrest Retirement Community, Spiritus Kirami and TriCare.

“I want to concentrate on the aged care industry. We’re giving them back something they loved doing.

“People often ask me why I do what I do,” Lynette said. “And I say because I can. You can’t put a price on it. To see a parent watch their child do this is enough.”

Lynette and Chris hope wheelchair dancing becomes a Paralympic sport so competitions can be held in Australia.

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