Dance Team Recognized for Dedication to Those with Disabilities

Oct. 25, 2013

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The U-M Council for Disability Concerns awarded the University of Michigan dance team with a certification of appreciation today (Friday, Oct. 25) for the team's long-standing support of the Army-Navy Wheelchair Game. The dance team has performed at the annual game since its inception four years ago.

"For our team and for our program, our students are learning how to develop that spirit for community service that they can hopefully carry on in their lives once they graduate from the university," said head coach Valerie Stead Potsos. "I want our students to appreciate and value what we do and the opportunities that they have with dance and to be able to perform -- not everybody has those opportunities to do those things in their lives."

In a ceremony held at the Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies, the Council for Disability Concerns commended the dance team's contributions in support of disability and support for U-M student veterans as well as all local veterans through uplifting and entertaining appearances at the Army-Navy Wheelchair Games. Thirteen other groups and individuals from across the University of Michigan system were also honored for their work to benefit those with disabilities.

"What struck me the most about today's ceremony is that everybody has an impact in one way or another," said Stead Potsos. "It could be a collective group or a team or individuals -- everybody has a role in helping to contribute to the success of those with disabilities."

The University of Michigan Army-Navy Wheelchair Basketball game has been held for the past three years and will be held once again on Nov. 10 at Crisler Center at 3 p.m. The game features wheelchair basketball players along with U-M and Eastern Michigan student veterans and U-M ROTC students. This will be the second year in a row that Crisler Center hosted the game. The Michigan dance team will once again provide entertainment and perform throughout the contest.

Today's ceremony was part of the James T. Neubacher Award Ceremony. The award was established in 1990 as a memorial to Jim Neubacher, a Michigan alumnus and former columnist for the The Detroit Free Press. He was an advocate for equal rights and opportunities for people with disabilities. The ceremony coincides with Michigan's "Investing in Ability Week" each October. Dr. John Greden, the executive director of Michigan's Depression Center, was this year's recipient of the Neubacher award.

The Michigan dance team will next travel to East Lansing to perform during Michigan football's game against Michigan State on Saturday, Nov. 2, at 3:30 p.m.

Contact: Michael Kasiborski (734) 763-4423