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Magazine » January February 2012 Issue » Musical Chairs

Musical Chairs

Jillian Zacchia
Date Published:
January 1, 2012

For dancers, injury is their greatest fear, but for the injured and disabled, Aubree Marchione believes their greatest hope is dance. Marchione has been teaching and participating in wheelchair ballroom for years, and is testament to its advantages, but recently she has decided to produce a documentary which showcases proven benefits of wheelchair dancing with the hope of spreading awareness and reaching out to countless more who are wheelchair bound.

“Wheelchair dancing originated in Europe in the 60s and became very popular over there,” says Marchione, who explains that there are “two different types of wheelchair dancing, combi style, which is when a person without a disability dances with a person in a wheelchair, and duos, which is when two people, both in wheelchairs, dance together.” Marchione has done her part in promoting wheelchair ballroom and Latin dance, her specialty within the wheelchair dancing field. Just last week, October 25th 2011, Aubree and her dance partner, Nick Scott, performed at the Jewish Foundation for Group Home’s ‘Evening of Dancing with the Stars,’ where the pair got to showcase their Samba dance skills in front of two thousand people, including some of DWTS’ professionals and contestants, thanks to the non-profit organization that supports those with disabilities.

“Dancing with Nick is inspirational,” says Marchione, “in a matter of years we’ve had the opportunity to spread so much awareness about wheelchair dancing, and I hope it leads to others getting involved in the sport.” The wheelchair bodybuilder, Nick Scott, “is an icon in the fitness industry right now,” says the wheelchair ballroom expert. The two met at the Arnold Sports Festival in 2009 where Marchione was hosting for 2B Entertainment, the production company that is producing the upcoming wheelchair dance documentary. She invited him to take dance lessons with her, and says “he flies from Kansas every month to practice with me and learn the new choreography.”

Together, the pair has won first place in the Latin division for both the ‘Atlantic Coast Dancesport Championships’ in Philadelphia in June 2010 and the ‘Heart of America Dancesport Championships’ in Kansas in August 2010.

“In those competitions there were about eight couples each,” admits the dancer, “but over in Europe we were the first couple to ever represent the United States of America in a World Wheelchair Dancesport Championship.” Together they competed against 22 nations and over 200 couples in the ‘World Paralympic Wheelchair Dance Sport Championship’ in Germany in November 2010.

Since then Marchione has put her talents to use by choreographing for feature films and commercials, such as the upcoming feature film, Musical Chairs, and in producing the award winning documentary “Perspective: the Nick Scott Story” with 2B Entertainment. Now she’s combining her choreography and production skills for the upcoming documentary on wheelchair dancing’s benefits.

The documentary is focused around a course given by ‘American Dance Wheels Foundation,’ a non-profit organization that teaches both students and teachers like Marchione how to wheelchair ballroom dance. A group of young veterans in California invited the organization to give them a course during the month of January 2012 where they would show the effects of the program by conducting a study on the mental, physical, and social benefits of the activity. “If they find positive results,” explains the choreographer, “it will open doors for wheelchair dancing to be a form of rehabilitation in rehab hospitals and health facilities instead of just a form of recreation.”

Teaching or taking a wheelchair ballroom course is inexplicably rewarding, and this choreographer recounts a touching story of a wedding couple she instructed last month. “They said they wanted to try dancing, but the groom got hurt in an accident and they weren’t sure how the dance would turn out. When they started taking lessons the bride said to me ‘I can’t believe were actually dancing for our wedding, this is what I’ve always wanted. I always wanted to feel like a princess and dance with the love of my life, and it’s happening.’” After video taping their last lesson together with Marchione, she says “I played back the video for them and they both started to cry. They were very happy to have their dream come true.”

Anyone who would like to contribute to the
documentary can do so by mailing a check to:
2B Entertainment LLC, 535 David St.,
South Amboy, NJ 08879.

Issue: Jan/Feb. 2012