A unique class at Cal State East Bay in Hayward, California is teaching students empathy through a different kind of dance instruction.
The class is wheelchair ballroom dancing. But the twist is that none of the students have disabilities or are regular wheelchair users, KTVU-TV reported.
Instructor Eric Kupers hopes the class exposes his students to a new mind-body experience and changes the way they view dancing.
“For me, dance is about expressing being human, and so every human being has an interesting story to tell in their body and has an interesting way to move,” he said.
The students were divided into pairs, with one person in each pair seated in a wheelchair. Guest instructor Derek Williams, who uses a wheelchair in his everyday life, also taught the students. He hoped to help students understand that there are no limits to dance.
Kupers said it was exciting to see people moving in different kinds of ways, and students got another point of view on different movements
Part of the larger lesson that Kupers wants to teach is the love of self and an acceptance of other people. It also reminds them that everyone has obstacles to overcome.
The class is taught in partnership with the American Dance Wheels Foundation.
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