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11 Million Reasons to Dance
People Dancing supports and celebrates ALL those who dance, want to dance or engage in dance
11 Million Reasons to Dance is a photography exhibition and short film programme that was conceptualised and launched in 2014 through funding from Unlimited Impact and Arts Council England. Since its launch, the exhibition has been touring the UK and overseas, featuring Sean Goldthorpe’s 20 commissioned images of iconic dance moments from film, all reimagined with Deaf, sight impaired and disabled dancers. 

The original work has since inspired a number of developments that have expanded the name, including our 11 Million Reasons to Dance - strategic touring programme (2016-2018). The project worked in partnership with six venues across the Midlands and North of England to deliver a strategic programme of performance, training and engagement, all focused around the current exhibition. The aim of the tour was to support diversity programmes and to help organisations embed inclusivity at the heart of what they do.

The exhibition has toured extensively across the UK and internationally, including London’s Southbank Centre, Tramway, Glasgow, Helsinki and Hong Kong and has been experienced by over half a million people worldwide This innovative exhibition has been the inspiration behind a number of participation projects and programmes and continues to be referenced and experienced many years on.  

A digital version of the 11 Million Reasons to Dance exhibition is available to view below

Please also visit our other films:

11 Million Reasons to Dance Network

About the Network and how to get involved 

The 11 Million Reasons to Dance Network is for anyone who currently works, or aims to work, with access and inclusion embedded into their dance practice, ensuring that there are sustained opportunities for disabled people to participate in dance.



The network is for:

  • Disabled artists and practitioners
  • Non disabled artists and practitioners working inclusively within their dance practice
  • Organisations and venues who are passionate about equal opportunities, access and inclusion

The network works in partnership with Para Dance UK and Attenborough Arts Centre, and provides annual gatherings, online learning and online networking discussions and newsletters which provide a national overview of current issues, support and opportunities for disabled people to participate in dance.

The networks aims are:

  • To support and raise the profile of Deaf, sight impaired, neurodiverse and disabled dance artists
  • To support organisations and individuals to embed access and inclusion in their dance work and programmes
  • Work in partnership to deliver strategic campaigns that positively profile disabled dancers and change perceptions around dance and disabled people
  • To provide a national platform for gatherings, networking, discussion and debate on current issues and creative professional development
  • To support disabled people to better access participatory dance opportunities
The network is always open to new members.


Join the 11 Million Reasons to Dance Network mailing list here

11 Million Reasons to Dance: Cymru

We are delighted that through funding from Arts Council Wales, People Dancing is taking the 11 Million Reasons to Dance exhibition and bespoke programme of activity to Wales. Working alongside partners Artis Community, Ballet Cymru, New Dance, Impelo, Dawns i Bawb, Disability Arts Cymru and a range of other partners, we will be touring the exhibition and supporting and developing dance practitioners to deliver dance activity with D/deaf, sight impaired and disabled people across communities. The two year programme (2019-2021) includes the creation of a new Welsh exhibition that incorporates the Welsh language, and a national networking event in Cardiff in late 2021.

The aim of the work continues on from our origins, in changing perceptions that can surround disability and dance and to support disabled people to participate in dance across Wales.

Disability Film Programme
In 2015 People Dancing commissioned a film programme that aimed to support a change in perception around dance and disability.

The first film created was 'Physically Being Me' which speaks to six Deaf and disabled artists about their professional dance journey. This film aimed to inspire disabled people to participate in dance opportunities. The film was shared on Skys community channel for 2 years and around the world, it has had over 30,000 views.

As a follow up in 2016 we created a series of six films which covered a number of different subject matter, from adapting work, inspired stories, to youth dance initiatives. The majority of the films were commissioned in partnership with other organisations including the MS Association, Dance4 and Para Dance UK.

This film programme accompanied the 11 Million Reasons to Dance exhibition on tour.



To view all six films

View films

The Space commissioned films

In 2018 People Dancing was commissioned by The Space to develop the online presence of  the 11 Million Reasons to Dance images.

The aim of the commission was to bring to life the 2d images and share with an audience outside of the dance sector. The adaption from 2d to 3d was embedded in access with audio description being the starting point of the creative process, closely followed by subtitling. This challenging and rewarding project worked alongside Orange Fox studios to create 3 short visual stories.

For more information on the creative process, read our blog from Producer Louise Wildish 

Explore films

Articles and Resources
Articles and resources useful for artists and organisations


5 disabled artists talk about dealing with Covid-19 restrictions and the issues that disabled people and dance artists particularly are facing in maintaining work.

Shape Arts

Shape Arts has a number of resources for organisations including making events more accessible, and marketing your events. They also have a number of resources on the social model of disability and support in making access statements.

Shape Arts Resources



Unlimited supports disabled artists and disability led organisations and have a range of resources that can support the delivery of work including their commissioning funds.



Arts Council England - The Creative Case for Diversity explained.

The Creative Case for Diversity is a way of exploring how artists and organisations can enrich the work that they do by embracing a range of influences and practices, including supporting and working with disabled artists and people and being more inclusive and accessible. 

More on the Creative Case

Cake, Communitas and contact

Dance artist, educator, researcher and performing member of Amici Dance Theatre Company, Lizz Fort on the stories we share through dancing together



Breakdance and visual impairment

Breakdance and visual impairment seemed like an unlikely link to Artistic Director Nathan Geering until he decided to learn more about the experiences of visually impaired theatre audiences and practitioners. In this article, Nathan shares how this journey of discovery provided new perspectives, unlocked creative possibilities and motivated him to create more accessible experiences for people in the arts



Working in a hospital setting

Kimberley Harvey has performed in a variety of settings and is an artist for Candoco Dance Company. Kimberley was a Dancer in Residence at GOSH 2017-19, which involved dancing in both outpatient clinics and inpatient wards for and with children, their families and hospital staff.



Working with an Agent for Change

Hannah Barker, Creative Producer at Belgrade Theatre, Coventry explains how and why 11 Million Reasons to Dance supported the process of welcoming an Agent for Change into the theatre and its local community




11 Million Reasons to Dance Resources
In this section are resources and information from across the 11 Million Reasons to Dance programme including our 20 audio description files written and recorded by Isabel Jones, articles, blogs and information relating to dance and disability, and our strategic touring evaluation report in partnership with Coventry University.

Invisible Difference conference

If you have ever wondered how the concept of the 11 Million Reasons to Dance exhibition came about or the logistics of creating the work, here, Louise Wildish (Director of Engagement) and Vanessa Oxspring (Associate Director 2016-2018) talk about the 11 Million Reasons to Dance projects conceptalisation and its aims and future vision.

Recorded in 2016 at the Invisible Difference Conference at Coventry University.

Watch the discussion here

Audio descriptions

If you are visually impaired or blind and would like to experience the 11 Million Reasons exhibition in full, please access our audio description files on this page below. There is a file describing each of the 20 images, along with an introduction and conclusion about the project.
Audio descriptions are written, recorded and spoken by Isabel Jones, Artistic Director, Salamanda Tandem. She has over 30 years audio description experience, particularly in performance and the arts sector.

Access the audio descriptions though Soundcloud

Funded by
The 11 Million Reasons to Dance photography exhibition is a People Dancing commission, supported by Unlimited Impact, Arts Council England 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 at The Unloved.

People Dancing is an Unlimited Ally; celebrating the work of disabled artists as part of the Unlimited

If you have enjoyed the 11 Million Reasons to Dance photographs and films and would like to support People Dancing to continue to create work like this please consider supporting us


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Useful contacts
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Useful contacts: Dance and disabled people