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Dance, Deaf and Disabled People

Given the key principle of community dance - every body can dance with intention and purpose and working on the basis of what people can do rather than what they can't - community dance offers wide ranging opportunities for disabled people to engage with dance: personal and collective expression, advocacy for disabled people in the wider community, artistic skills, active and healthy leisure activities and professional opportunities within dance and the arts.

11 Million Reasons

A photography exhibition inspired by iconic moments of dance from well-known films, re-imagined by Deaf and disabled people who dance.

People Dancing have created a high quality photographic exhibition entitled 11 Million Reasons, which was conceptualised in 2014 to positively profile Deaf and disabled people who dance. The project developed from our core vision to ‘desegregate’ Deaf and disabled people from anyone else that dances, and to help facilitate a change in perceptions that can surround disabled people dancing. 

With funding from Unlimited Impact, People Dancing commissioned emerging disabled photographer, Sean Goldthorpe to create the 20 high quality images inspired by iconic dance moments in film. In the images, Deaf and disabled people re-imagine iconic roles from well-known and loved films from a diversity of genres.

Find out more about 11 Million Reasons.

Films by People Dancing

People Dancing have commissioned six new films to be completed by the end of 2015. The films aim to be informative, and an inspiration to Deaf and disabled people who dance, and a resource to those people working with, or for Deaf and disabled people. The portfolio of films also aim to raise debate and discussion around some of the issues and challenges that can surround Deaf and disabled people who dance. Please scroll down to view all six films below.


In the film Adaption, dancers Laura Dajao and Mickael Marso Riviere discuss dance within the hip hop culture, and highlight how better awareness around access can ensure inclusivity. Dancing and adapting movement together, they create a beautifully inspiring and engaging duet. 
This film has been made in partnership with the MS Society.


This short film focuses on the work of Isabel Jones, Artistic Director of Salamanda Tandem. The film shares excerpts of participatory practice and performance work, and her thoughts and approaches to working in a fully accessible way in dance.


Contemplation Is there one aesthetic for a dancer? What does a dancer look like? During the creation of the People Dancing photography exhibition, 11 Million Reasons which re-creates iconic dance moments from films with Deaf and disabled people centre stage, we asked some of the participants three questions. We present their combined responses in our film Contemplation.


'Motion' is commissioned by the Wheelchair Dance Sport Association and People Dancing. Brother and sister duo Linda and Stephen talk openly about the genre of Ballroom dancing, and in particular dancing with a disability. The positivity that dancing brings, along with their aspirations and plans for the future.

Progression - Beth's Story

The Foundation for Community Dance in partnership with Dance4, have created this short film which features young disabled dancer Beth Gardiner.  Throughout the film we hear from Beth herself about her passion for dance, her progression and development from school through to being on the Centre for Advance Training programme, plus her ambitions for the future.  This film supports the changing perceptions report commissioned by Dance4 and aims to highlight young disabled dancers’ progression routes. This beautifully made and compassionate film tells Beth’s story in her own words.

Inclusion - A U.Dance Experience

The Foundation for Community Dance has created this short film in partnership with Youth Dance England to inspire inclusive groups and group leaders working with disabled young dancers to apply to be part of U.Dance 2015 in Plymouth. Youth Dance England and its partners aim to have 20% of its 2015 U.Dance applications from inclusive and disability focused dance groups.

This film evaluates the experience of Oak field School Dance Group during their U.Dance 2014 experience and raises key questions from an inclusive group perspective. The young people and group leaders discuss their experience, including the hopes and fears, and provide a valuable insight to how any group of young people can successfully take part in U.Dance 2015.

Physically Being Me

Physically Being Me explores the positive journeys and thoughts of six disabled people who dance from their point of view. This film was created with the Community Film Unit and was funded through the award winning Speak Up Film Fund.

Help us map the national landscape for
inclusive dance practice

During the National Networking Event in Bournemouth we invited organisations and individuals to participate in our mapping exercise to create an up to date document that depicts the national UK landscape for inclusive dance practice in 2014. You can add your knowledge about artists, companies, or regular classes by emailing Louise Wildish: louise@communitydance.org.uk

National Networking Day - May 2014

View photos from the most recent Dance, Deaf and Disabled People National Networking Event
Find out more >>


Foundation for Community Dance is an Unlimited Ally; celebrating the work of disabled artists as part of the Unlimited programme.

Animated magazine library

The online Animated library contains articles relating to dance, Deaf and disabled people published in Animated magazine from 1996 to the present day. It's fully searchable and it's completely free to access.
Visit the archive now >>

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