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Black Swan image from 11 Million Reasons to Dance exhibition. Photos by Sean Goldthorpe

11 Million Reasons to Dance

What does a dancer look like? From a lithe ballerina on pointe to a twinkle-toed tap artist, ballroom waltzers to the tightest tango, so many of our perceptions around dancers are based on ‘perfect’ form and technique.

11 Million Reasons to Dance is a photographic exhibition which features 20 memorable images by photographer Sean Goldthorpe working with disabled dance artists. Sean’s stylishly composed, challenging and fun images have captured the interest of people across the globe, challenging perceptions of disability and dance, and how creative work by Deaf and disabled people is presented, supported and appreciated.

The exhibition has toured the world thrilling over 100,000 people from the UK to Hong Kong, Korea, Spain, Croatia and Ukraine, delighting them with its iconoclastic reimagining of famous dance scenes from film. With additional funding and help from The Space, the exhibition, originally commissioned by People Dancing and supported by Unlimited Impact, to celebrate the then 11 million people in the UK registered disabled, is now available to a global audience of millions online.

In January 2018, People Dancing was commissioned by The Space to develop the online presence of 11 Million Reasons to Dance images and project aims. A series of short films went out on social media, along with a press and marketing campaign to raise the profile of the work. The main aim was to put access and inclusion at the heart of the work, with multi-layered approaches and considerations in making digital work as accessible as possible.

You can find all the 11 Million Reasons to Dance films here.

The exhibition is available to view as a video below and also an accessible digital exhibition with audio description files describing each of the 20 images, along with an introduction and conclusion about the project.

“The 11 Million Reasons to Dance photography exhibition set out to make change and positively profile D/deaf and disabled people who dance,” - Louise Wildish, People Dancing Producer.

“The Space is thrilled to be supporting the 11 Million Reasons to Dance project in extending the audience for the original photographic exhibition. Placing the images online will ensure the superb images are seen by greater numbers of people and continue to challenge traditional perceptions around ability, dance, form and technique.” - Fiona Morris, CEO and Creative Director for The Space

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About this Artist

People Dancing is 'the foundation for community dance.' They are the UK development organisation and membership body for those involved in creating opportunities for people to experience and participate in dance. Their membership reaches more than 4,500 dance professionals worldwide.

People Dancing's leadership of the community dance network is a driving force for the sector, providing a platform for exchange, critical debate and peer learning.