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11 Million Reasons to Dance
The project

11 Million Reasons to Dance was conceptualised by People Dancing 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 around disabled people dancing.

With funding from Unlimited Impact, People Dancing commissioned emerging disabled photographer Sean Goldthorpe to create 20 high quality images inspired by iconic dance moments from film. In the images, Deaf and disabled people are centre stage, re-imagining memorable roles from well-known, much-loved films from a wide range of genres.

The stunning, powerful, emotive and humorous images are diverse and many bring a subtle but relevant message. The complete portfolio will tour the UK in the next two years, aiming to be both resource and inspiration for a number of people, especially Deaf and disabled people who take part in dance activity.

The work will support existing performance, be present at symposiums and festivals and will aim to engage an audience way beyond the dance sector.

The project took place in 12 indoor and outdoor locations, with 21 separate shoots involving more than 160 people. The work took three months to complete. To watch some of the images being created, see our short film 11 Million Reasons - Behind the scenes.

Follow the 11 Million Reasons to Dance programme on Twitter - @11MillReasons


11 Million Reasons to Dance is a People Dancing commission, with support from Unlimited Impact and private contributors through our Sponsume campaign, launched in 2014.

People Dancing gratefully acknowledges the support of everyone who gave generously to our crowd funding campaign to support the development of this exhibition, including: David Leventhal, Chris Stenton, Jane Ralls, Rachel Emmett, Helen Angove, Ken Bartlett, Catherine Middleton, Maria Koripas, Emma Hayes, James Riley @Effect Digital, Sara Houston and Koo Bhangra @The Unloved.

The photographer

Sean Goldthorpe is a Leicester-based emerging photographer. He is currently studying at De Montfort University and has worked on a number of commissions, including work for Curve Theatre, Leicester. Through Unlimited Impact funding, we engaged established professional photographer Drew Gardiner for a select period to mentor Sean to develop his skills in photography. For more information on Sean’s work please visit

See the images

You can now view a small selection of images from the 11 Million Reasons to Dance collection. To view the full portfolio of work, please see the tour dates below where you can find details of where the work will be exhibited across the UK.

The creative team and dancers

The participants involved in 11 Million Reasons to Dance are predominately Deaf and disabled people for whom dance is a large part of their life, professionally, or vocationally. We worked with people of all ages, from local schools and youth groups to adults who dance in their local communities, through to some of the leading disabled choreographers and professional dancers in the UK.

The diversity of the people involved captured the spirit of 11 Million Reasons to Dance, supporting our aim to help change perceptions around Deaf and disabled people who dance. Each one of the participants helped 11 Million Reasons to Dance achieve outstanding results.

See below for a full list of those involved in 11 Million Reasons to Dance:

Photographer – Sean Goldthorpe
Set Dresser – Nicky Moorhouse
Producer - Louise Wildish
Hair and Make up – Kristie Matthiae
Photographers Assistant – Oscar Henton

Tom St Louis, Kate Marsh, Simon Coopey, Charlotte Tomlinson, Meena Visana, Elle Molyneux, Mitchell Varney, Megan Smith, Rosie Acton, Joey Asuncion, Laura Hayes, Felicia Bryyant, Sahib Jagdev, Abbie Bogle Smith, Jazmine Bolton, Simon Keast, Cale Wood, Mickel Smithen, Welly O’Brien, Beth Gardiner, Judy Gardiner, Chris Fonseca , Jakob Riley–Moore, Luke McGuire, Gil McGuire, Louise Dickson, Denny Haywood, Mickael Marso Riviere. Samantha Gibson, Daniel Southwell, Toni Louise Dolan, Sara Equibal, Joshua O’Meara, Sophia Michiko, Kimberley Harvey, Sheagh Broomhall, Veronica Broomhall, Laura Dajao, Sian Green, Linda Wilson, Emily Boyne, Ruth Boyne, Stephen Boyne, Chloe Corkett, Tom Williams, Jacob Brown, Laura Jones, Adrian Costa, Robyn Davey, Harley French, Katy Molineux, Celes Cotey, Keenan Stewart, Ronan Godber, Nicholas Keynes, Daisy Dent, Shelley Limer, Sarah Ashirani, Natasha Morton, Lucy Willett, Abbie Taylor, George Churm, Connor Coates, Daisha Brown. David Stewart, Sali Gresham, Emily Thurston, Lily Boyle, Phil Cass, Sophie Morgan, Marcus Clarke, Lindsey Sharpe, Peter Bateman, Giovanna Ventrella.

Thanks to the following people for their help in making 11 Million Reasons to Dance happen:

Nicola Chambers, Louise Katerega, Richard Kimbell and Furniture Barn, Market Harborough, The staff at Curve, Leicester, Richard at Sheehans Music Shop, Leicester, Estelle at 19Gale, Leicester, Alaistair Read at Leicester City Council, Jess and Becky at Dance4, The staff at New Walk Museum and Art Gallery - Leicester, Drew Gardner and Lucinda Marland, Bhavna at the People Centre, The staff at the Core at Corby Cube, The Wheelchair Dance Sport Association, Jo Verrent and staff at Unlimited and everyone at People Dancing.

11 Million Reasons to Dance Tour Dates

11 Million Reasons to Dance is touring the UK to a number of organisations and festivals. Come and view the work!

Please also see People Dancing's e-newsletters for regular updates on getting involved with 11 Million Reasons to Dance throughout the year. To subscribe please visit Stay in touch/get updates.

1 - 11 February 2016
Curve Theatre

1 April - 29 April 2016
Strike A Light Festival


9 May - 20 June 2016
Festival 10


21 - 22 July 2016
Lincoln Drill Hall


25 - 30 July 2016
People Dancing Summer School

De Montford University, Leicester

6 - 11 September 2016
Unlimited Festival

Southbank Centre, London

7-10 September 2016
Gathered Together Festival

Tramway, Glasgow

14-21 September 2016
Doing Things Differently
SPACE, Bristol

Hire the exhibition

If you, your organisation, school, or venue would like to enquire about booking 11 Million Reasons to Dance to be part of an event please email for more information and a specification sheet.