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Our Story

Melinda Kremer, founder and executive director of ADF, dances a spirited Hustle with Ray Leight, a dynamic dancer who gracefully maneuvers his wheelchair. Ray, exuding athleticism in all black, leads confidently as Melinda, donned in a vibrant blue shirt and black dance pants, strikes a pose, showcasing their seamless partnership and the exhilarating energy of adaptive dance.
Jenna Kremer, a radiant and intelligent young girl, beams at the camera from her wheelchair. As the beloved daughter of Melinda Kremer, founder of ADF, Jenna's spirit continues to inspire, leaving an indelible mark on the inclusive dance community and beyond.

It seems like an eternity since I took my first spin around the dance floor with a gentleman who uses a wheelchair. I have been a ballroom dancer for many years, and have always loved the brilliance of movement, the music, and the partnership. The encounter proved to be creative and exciting, and as much fun as any other dance experience that I’ve ever had. I am not a stranger to disabilities. My daughter, Jenna, was diagnosed with Friedreich’s Ataxia at the age of 11. As a child, Jenna had an enormous amount of energy and curiosity for the world around her. Despite her disability, she continued to do all of the things that she loved, including dance. My experiences dancing with my first partner and the inspiration from my daughter, made me realize that this style of dancing had the extraordinary power to bring the abled-bodied and disabled worlds together. We realized that a curriculum of established steps needed to be created in order for this type of dancing to be used socially. We teamed up with a talented ballroom dance teacher, and over a period of a couple years, the Wheel One™ Wheelchair Ballroom and Latin Dance Curriculum was created. In order to promote and fund the activity in the United States, I co-founded a non-profit organization called American DanceWheels Foundation Inc. (ADF). This marked the concrete beginning for social wheelchair dancing and competitive Wheelchair Latin and Ballroom DanceSport within the United States. Since then, ADF has trained children and adults using power and manual chairs in a variety of different settings, including dance studios, public schools, universities, rehabilitation centers, hospitals, children’s camps, community outreach programs, and more! Our dancers have even had the opportunity to represent the United States of America in the World Paralympic Wheelchair DanceSport Championships. The best part of dancing is that it is wonderful and real for both standing and seated dancers, giving families, lovers, and friends a whole new way to connect and have a great time with one another. In 2007, Jenna passed away of heart complications from her disorder. She remains the heart and soul of American DanceWheels Foundation.

- Melinda Kremer, Founder & Executive Director

"American DanceWheels beautifully exhibits with every performance the unlimited possibilities of dance expression and reaffirms that through imagination, creativity, and the love for the art of dance, the human spirit can soar regardless of physical challenges." - Mary Previte, Member of the General Assembly

Our Mission

Our Mission

The mission of American DanceWheels Foundation (ADF) is to teach the social, rehabilitative, and competitive activity of adaptive Ballroom and Latin Dance to persons with and without disabilities. The Foundation meets this goal by providing training to persons who use wheelchairs and persons who stand, including dance teachers, recreational and occupational therapists, and adaptive sports professionals. The Foundation utilizes its own trademarked [and validated] adaptive dance syllabus, and employs a certification process for dance teachers and therapists to further disseminate the program. The Foundation undertakes a role in disability advocacy and awareness by offering seminars, demonstrations, and exhibitions of adaptive dance to people of all abilities.

A joyous girl, propelled by the rhythm of the music, smiles brightly as she dances in ADF's adaptive dance class at Rowan University. Her hair twirls gracefully as she spins in her wheelchair, her purple shirt and black skirt adding to the vibrant energy of the moment, embodying the spirit of inclusivity and the boundless freedom found through movement.
Dr. Nicole Agaronnik, a certified ADF instructor, exudes elegance in a stunning black and gold Latin dance dress, her curly blonde hair pulled back into a ponytail. With graceful poise, she strikes a pose, delicately holding her skirt, while her partner, Rik Daniels, who uses a wheelchair, skillfully lifts his chair into a wheelie beside her. Their eyes meet with mutual warmth and admiration, sharing a moment of connection and joy on the dance floor.

Our Vision

American DanceWheels Foundation envisions a world where adaptive Ballroom and Latin Dance unite individuals of all abilities. Through championing inclusivity, fostering understanding, and promoting the limitless possibilities of adaptive dance, we aim to inspire a culture where everyone is embraced, supported, and encouraged to shine brightly both on and off the dance floor. Our vision enriches lives and fosters connections that transcend physical limitations and societal norms.

We Need Your Support Today!

Board of Directors

Derrick Williamson

President

Robert Hansberry

Secretary

Laurie Coffman

Treasurer

Ralph Ferretti

Board Director

Brenda Flanagan

Board Director

Robert Nuzzie

Board Director

Melinda Kremer

Founder & Executive Director

Aubree Marchione

Artistic Director

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