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Where there is no law, but every man does what is right in his own eyes, there is the least of real liberty
Henry M. Robert

The Sivak couple’s two gold medals

The Rivne couple won the world’s most prestigious competition for wheelchair dancers
24 December, 2013 - 12:23
Photo courtesy of the Sivak spouse

The championship was held in Tokyo, the Japanese capital. It brought together 150 participants from 23 countries. The dancers from Rivne region led in two categories, Duo Latin and Duo Standard.

Ivan and Nadia Sivak participated in the world championship for the third time. Even so, they still felt the excitement before entering the floor. “Every dance is a little story. Speaking of Latin dances, the samba is a meeting between the two, cha-cha-cha is making advances, rumba is flirt, pasodoble is passionate, and jive is playful. Our standard program included light and airy slow waltz, passionate tango, Viennese waltz, slow foxtrot and quickstep. We entered this category later, which is, perhaps, the reason why it is more interesting for us,” Nadia told us.

The Sivaks have been in the sport since 2007. Ivan was first to start wheelchair dancing after learning about it online. He became interested, found people involved with the sport in Kyiv, went there to meet them, and they helped him to find a coach (Vladyslava Kostak) and a partner. He recalls that he danced with a healthy girl at first (such pairs compete in the combi category), and then met Nadia. Ivan Sivak met his future wife and partner in the camp, where he worked as an instructor of wheelchair riding. She was his student. Later, Nadia dared to move from Makiivka, Donetsk region to Rivne, to join Ivan. They have been living together ever since.

The Sivaks prepared carefully for this year’s World Wheelchair Dancing Championship for athletes with locomotor disabilities. They practiced daily. However, they had issues with wheelchairs during previous competitions, forcing them to bring the devices to repairers. “When they saw the damage, they asked us which sport we participate in, and were amazed to learn that it was dancing,” Ivan told us. “The thing is, our wheelchairs are bespoke devices, they are lighter and, incidentally, made of titanium, which is a quite durable material. However, people find it difficult to imagine that dancing puts a stress of this magnitude on the wheelchair.”

The Sivaks have only positive impressions of Tokyo. They said they had not felt any discomfort there, as everything was wheelchair accessible. The world champions are now planning for the next competitions. In particular, they want to win the European Championship. After all, the Sivaks first participated in it in 2007, ending at the 4th place. This is their only result beyond the prize zone, so they want to take revenge. On another note, Ivan and Nadia are going to enroll their five-year-old daughter Darynka in a dancing school to enable her to continue the family tradition.

By Tetiana ILNYTSKA, Rivne
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