The Dancing Wheels Company Comes to the Ohio Valley

Oglebay Institute’s School of Dance brings The Dancing Wheels Company, the first and foremost physically integrated dance company in the world, to the Ohio Valley.

A public concert–”Dancing on a Dream”– takes place April 2.  In addition, students can enjoy a matinee performance of “Daring to Be Dumbo” on April 2.  Also, The Dancing Wheels Company will hold a workshop April 1.

“Dancing on a Dream” Concert

The Company will perform “Dancing On a Dream” at 7pm Tuesday, April 2 at the John Marshall High School auditorium in Glendale. The performance is free and open to the public.

The show features some of president and founding artistic director Mary Verdi-Fletcher’s favorite works from the last decade.

One of the pieces of choreography in the show, “Going Up,” was created for a concert celebrating The Dancing Wheels Company’s 35th anniversary season and the concurrent 25th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Known as ADA, the iconic law changed the face of equality for persons with disabilities throughout the Unites States.

“Going Up” is set in an imaginary elevator. Personal stories reveal universal truths via live and recorded text fused with a divergent range of music. With each new floor the elevator reaches, riders and audience members come face-to-face with stereotypes and obstacles people with disabilities encounter daily.

The company will also perform “Neither Lost Nor Found.” The dance work’s accompanying soundtrack gives consideration to current societal issues and emphasizes that acceptance of everyone is key.

World-renowned choreographer Donald McKayle created a work in the repertoire titled “Far East of the Blues.” McKayle passed away in April 2018 and found working with The Dancing Wheels Company “eye-opening.” “Far East of the Blues” is set to four movements from Duke Ellington’s 1966 “Far East Suite.”

Reserve seats online or call 304-242-7700. Tickets will also be available at the door. The performance is free and open to the public.

Daring to Be Dumbo

The Dancing Wheels Company will perform “Daring to Be Dumbo” as a student matinee performance at 10am April 2 in the John Marshall auditorium. This program is also free.

The story is set in a contemporary Junior High School where Dumbo is now a bullied 13-year-old girl. The story exemplifies turning differences from weakness into strength through the love of family, friends and, ultimately, oneself. Students will explore lessons on relationships and self-awareness. They will become better equipped to discuss social issues within their community and school. The performance is suitable for grades pre-k through 3rd.

For more information or to register for the program, call 304-242-7700. The program is free.

Workshop with Dancing Wheels

A physically integrated dance workshop takes place at 7pm April 1 at Oglebay Institute’s School of Dance. Students of all abilities can participate.

Founding artistic director Mary Verdi-Fletcher, company member Sara Lawrence-Sucato and guest artist Meredith Aleigha Wells teach the workshop.

Cost is $50. Register online or call 304-242-7700.

Thank you, Donors and Sponsors

The National Endowment for the Arts supports this project. To find out more about how National Endowment for the Arts grants impact individuals and communities, visit In addition, the Rosemary M. Front Charitable Trust, the Robert & Helen Levenson Family Charitable Trust and Peter J. Lim provided support for this project.

About The Dancing Wheels Company:

The Dancing Wheels Company, now in its 38th anniversary season is recognized as the first and foremost professional physically integrated dance company in America. The company unites the talents of dancers both with and without disabilities. The Company tours throughout the United States and abroad reaching more than 30,000 people in more than 75 performances each year.

About Oglebay Institute’s School of Dance

Since its founding in 1930, Oglebay Institute has recognized the importance of creative expression through movement and music. Dance, in all forms, remains a vibrant part of Institute’s programming. Oglebay Institute’s School of Dance presents dance as an art form and a means of self-expression and social interaction for people all ages and abilities. From novice dancers to returning professionals, OI students immerse themselves in the art of dance.