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Strictly Wheels celebrate Manchester Grand Prix success

Strictly Wheels, aka Gary Lyness and Paula Moulton, have danced their way to three medals at the UK’s largest international wheelchair dance sport competition, the Manchester Grand Prix.

The multi-award winning duo picked up a bronze medal in the Latin American combi category, competing at the very highest level in the competition.

Paula also picked up a silver medal in the ‘single ladies’ section, despite it being only her second ever solo dance performance.

There was a third medal for Paula in the debutante duo category, which she entered with partner Gill – a relative newcomer to wheelchair dance who recently took up the sport despite being in her 70s.

A real highlight, however, was the success of some much younger dancers at the Grand Prix. Both Paula and Gary have been working with a group of young girls and boys from a local special educational needs school, assisting the teachers and helping the children to learn wheelchair dancing.

The children competed in the junior debutante category and did extremely well as many were in their first major competition. .

Paula said: “It’s always great to compete on our home turf and the support is something else, but the real stars were the little boys and girls. They did fantastically well and we’re very proud of them, it’s wonderful to see how their little faces light up when they dance.”

The celebrations didn’t end with the competition. Gary and Paula, who are both from Manchester, took some of the other dancers sightseeing while they were in town.

“That’s one of the great things about wheelchair dance, it’s a really social environment,” Paula explains. “During competitions we have our game-faces on but off the floor we’re all friends.

“We even introduced some of them to Yorkshire pudding – they couldn’t understand why it was called pudding if it wasn’t a dessert, or why we’d put gravy on it!”

First held in 2011, the Manchester Grand Prix is now in its fifth year and attracts competitors from several European countries.

Wheelchair dance sport involves athletes with a physical disability. Wheelchair dancers may participate in combi-style with an able-bodied (standing) partner, solo, or duo-dance, where two wheelchair users compete together.

Fish Insurance is a proud supporter of Strictly Wheels.  Find out more about the award winning wheelchair dance duo and their work at

You can also follow Strictly Wheels on Twitter at @StrictlyWheels and on Facebook.

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