Wheelchair Line Dancing

William McKechnie alias Wild Bill 

Founder of Wheelchair Line Dancing
And The Wheel-A-Billy Rockers

UK 1997 - Germany 1998 - France 2000

The Wheel-A-Billy Rockers
From left to right

Neil Sagar, David (Cardwell) Sessions, Patricia Leadbetter, Elaine Edmondson 
Wild Bill (Founder), Terry Kennerley, Valerie Kennerley, Fred Leadbetter

February 1997 while teaching line dancing in a church hall on Preston Old Road in Blackpool, I saw a young girl in a wheelchair on the dance floor. At the end of the lesson, I was approached by her Mum who asked "If there were any line dances for people in wheelchairs?" I had no idea but assured her that I would find out.

I made several inquiries to various line dance instructors and it was suggested that I write to WDSF in the USA.   In April 1997 I received a letter saying "It had been tried but found to be unsuccessful"

I borrowed a wheelchair and practiced at home and came up with the idea of transferring all feet moves to the hands.  After learning a few routines I went to the Whitegate Drive Day Care Centre in Blackpool and asked "If I could teach wheelchair line dancing?"  I was given the go-ahead by Management but those in the hall were not as impressed as they had tried wheelchair dancing in the past and found it boring"

I went on stage and inserted the CD of The Woolpackers hit Hillbilly Rock Hillbilly Roll, got myself into a wheelchair, and started dancing with my hands and everyone started cheering.  We formed two groups the A and B teams.   A team could maneuver their wheelchair unaided whereas the B team needed the help of carers.

Our first performance using both A and B teams was in Blackpool Tower Ballroom which was filmed by BBC Breakfast Television.   After this performance, we received many invites for us to give demonstrations.    Between 1997 and 2002 I taught a lot of groups and the Wheel-A-Billy Rockers gave many demonstrations.

1998 I taught wheelchair line dancing in Germany and the Wheel-A-Billy Rockers gave many demonstrations to enthusiastic wheelchair users.

2000 we took part in the European line dance championships in Paris all thanks to the organisers who paid for our expenses. The audience gave the Wheel-A-Billy Rockers a standing ovation and the Mayor of Paris presented them with a Trophy.

Below is my own dance terminology to help you adapt feet movements to the hands

Please select the download button for feet movements to the hands
or
Send an email for A4 Word Document

Line Dances and wheelchair line dances by Wild Bill McKechnie

Copperknob




Teaching Wheelchair Line Dancing in Germany 1998





Giving a wheelchair line dance demonstration in Paris 2000