Dancers Want to Fly

Members of the Verlezza Dance company in Ohio travel to USF to test out the second prototype of the Rolling Dance Chair.


Video by: Amy Mariani | USF News


By Amy Mariani

USF News


TAMPA, Fla. (July 5, 2011) – Dancers want to fly.


“Whether we're standup (dancers) or sitdown (dancers), we want to fly,” said Assistant Artistic Director of Verlezza Dance Tracy Pattison.


Pattison, Verlezza Dance Director Sabatino Verlezza and two of his dancers – Marcie Ryan and Amara Romano – traveled from Ohio to Tampa for a few days in June to try out the latest prototype of the Rolling Dance Chair. They joined Merry Lynn Morris – a faculty member from the School of Theatre and Dance and originator of the chair concept.


Prototype Two of the Rolling Dance Chair offers a smoother ride and more sensitive controls. The look and feel of the chair is streamlined, with a clear seat, so it can blend in better with the choreography.


“This invention allows for somebody to feel movement, or motivate movement, in the same way using their seat and upper body and frees up the hands to do whatever they need to do in their lives or in an artful way.” Sabatino Verlezza said.


Marcie Ryan, who uses a wheelchair, said the Prototype Two of the Rolling Dance Chair is more than an opportunity to expand her movement as a dancer. It strengthens the mind-body connection she already feels when she dances.


“It's so easy to not be in my body,” Ryan said. “But when I do dance, it's my restorative medicine. I feel like I can take on the world.”


For more information, check out


Amy Mariani can be reached at 813-974-0331.