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Monday, December 17, 2018

Inclusive dance competition to open near Llangollen

* Helen from Dolywern takes part in last year's Strictly Cymru final.

Wales’ first fully inclusive dance event, Strictly Cymru, is back for the second year running, with the first regional heats taking place near Llangollen this week.

Organised by the disability charity Leonard Cheshire, Strictly Cymru invites disabled dancers from across the country to take part and show off their talent.

The event is pan disability and aims to improve health, wellbeing and access to sport for disabled people across Wales.

First of the regional heats will be at Leonard Cheshire in Dolywern on Thursday and Friday, December 20 and 21.

This follows the success of last year’s competition, where participants reported significant improvements in their well-being as a result of taking part.

Helen from Dolywern, who had experienced extreme short-term memory loss and limited speech, now engages in conversation, has improved memory and an extended range of vocabulary. She came joint third in Strictly Cymru Grand Final last year.

Helen said ahead of the final last year: "It was a fun event to take part in. I’m amazed was in the final!"

Leonard Cheshire is inviting disabled people across the country to take part in the competition — from keen dancers to complete beginners.

Glyn Meredith, Leonard Cheshire’s Director of Operations in Wales, said: "Dancing improves people’s health, happiness and well-being, opening up opportunities that too often are not accessible for disabled people.

"Following enormous success last year, we can’t wait to see what this year’s Strictly Cymru has to offer.

"We know there is a huge wealth of talent among the community in Wales and this event is the perfect opportunity to bring people everyone together to show what they can do."

The event has been organised in partnership with Para Dance UK.

Patrick McGeough, Para Dance UK CEO, said: "We welcome the opportunity to partner with Leonard Cheshire on this amazing event, enabling the community of Wales to take part in dance, but also developing a legacy that can show and enable the community that everyone can be involved in dance whether that is for fun, creative or competitive reasons.

"We wish all the participants good luck and we look forward to meeting and inspiring everyone to get involved have fun and show that no matter what the ability that all of the community of Wales can dance!”

* For further details and to find out how to take part, please visit:

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