DANCE: Latin Wheelchair Dancesport | PARTNERS SINCE: February 2010 | REPRESENT: England | PLACES OF BIRTH: Gary: Lurgan, UK | Paula: Lincoln, UK | BASED: Manchester, UK.
ACHIEVEMENTS: In our first year in the IPC at the top level ending the season 14th in the World and 10th in Europe. More results can be found by clicking here.
FAVOURITE DANCE: Gary: Rumba | Paula: Rumba.
FAVOURITE COMPETITION/VENUE: Gary: Cuijk, Holland | Paula: Malta Open.
BEST MOMENT OF YOUR CAREER: Winning our first international competition in Amateur Latin. We only went to test the water and see wheelchair dance properly for the first time and ended up taking Gold for GB - the first time ever.
HOW TO PREPARE FOR A COMPETITION: Training up to the last week building up stamina. We know our routines, it's just having the stamina to get through the long competition days and perform 5-dances in the rounds. We usually rest 1-2 days before to avoid injury. Finally, enjoy the day and love dancing!
HOW TO RELAX AFTER A COMPETITION: A bath, a pint and a huge meal! Usually followed by some social dancing with our competitor friends.
MOST RESPECTED OPPONENT COUPLE: We love Steven and Roxy from Malta - they dance a lot like us - together as a couple with great chemistry on and off the floor.
ADVICE FOR ANY YOUNG DANCER READING THIS: Enjoy it! There's no point going to classes and competitions if you don't enjoy what you are doing. Dance is truly a passion and love, it's in your blood.
DANCE WORLD ICON/INSPIRATION: Garyl: I love Derek Hough - watching USA's DWTS he is always so innovative and passionate about his dancing. | Paula: Artem Chigventsev - he breaks the mold and he has a great body!.
WHY CHOOSE INTERNATIONAL DANCE SHOES?: We love having shoes custom made to fit. For Paula as a wheelchair user, simple things like having the buckle on the inside make them easier to do up and having rubber soles instead of suede means they don't slip on the wheelchair footplate.
WHAT ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT FEATURES OF A DANCE SHOE?: Comfort, they are a second skin. Gary loves 'Jones' with the suede coming over the toe and heel to give total contact with the floor.
AWAY FROM DANCE
FAVOURITE SPORT AWAY FROM DANCE: Gary: Tennis | Paula: Freefall Parachute!
FAVOURITE HOLIDAY DESTINATION: Gary: New York | Paula: Canaries
FAVOURITE FILM: Gary: Grease | Paula: Moulin Rouge
FAVOURITE MUSIC ACT/ARTIST: Gary: Annie Lennox | Paula: Queen
INTERESTING FACT: Gary: I was a redcoat back in the early 90s! | Paula: I do BMX Handbiking.
TEACHING, LESSONS & BOOKINGS
Gary & Paula offer Wheelchair Dance classes at St. Luke's Neighbourhood Centre, Stockport Road, Manchester, M13 9AB on Wednesdays from 7pm to 8.30pm. More information can be found by clicking here.
Main Sponsors Page - International Dance Shoes
Header Image - Strictly Wheels Official Facebook Page (Click here)