Paralympics | Michigan Radio
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Paralympics

Cheryl Angellili at a para dance competition
Courtesy of Charles Pleiness

Do not let a spinal cord injury get in the way of achieving your goals. 

For Cheryl Angelelli, that meant expressing herself through ballroom dancing. Now, she is leading the growth of Para Dance in this country by helping others who live with physical impairment discover the sport.

Courtesy of Cheryl Angelelli

A Detroit-area dance studio is blazing the trail for wheelchair ballroom dancing in the U.S. - with the help of a retired Paralympic swimming world champion-turned-dancer.

Cheryl Angelelli and her dance partner, Tamerlan Gadirov, are among the people leading what's billed as the first U.S. training for Para Dance Instruction. The sessions will be held at the Fred Astaire Dance Studio in Bloomfield Township, where Gadirov is an instructor and the pair teaches a Dance Mobility class.

Courtesy of Cheryl Angelelli

 

Today marks the 26th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibited discrimination against people with disabilities — people like Cheryl Angelelli. A former Paralympic swimmer, Angelelli holds four Paralympic medals and won seven world championships.

 

Now, Angelelli is taking her talents to the dance floor. This week, she’s competing in the Dancing World Championships in Las Vegas. She and her partner Tamerlan Gadirov won a medal last night at the championships.