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11 Million Reasons to Dance
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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 by Deaf, sight impaired and disabled dancers. 

Sean Goldthorpe’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 original work has since inspired a number of developments that have expanded the name, including our 11 Million Reasons to Dance - strategic touring programme. 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 work was to support diversity programmes and to help organisations embed inclusivity at the heart of what they do.

From London’s Southbank Centre to Tramway, Glasgow, from Helsinki to Hong Kong, this innovative exhibition has been touring the UK and internationally since 2015 taking chutzpah and humour to all those who connect with it, reaching well beyond the dance and arts sector.







This promotional trailer has an accompanying audio description - it is recommended that individuals first listen to the promotional trailer, followed by the audio description.
The audio description was written, recorded and spoken by Isabel Jones, Artistic Director, Salamanda Tandem.

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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The photographs and the 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.

If you are accessing the audio descriptions from a mobile phone you may wish to do so directly through Soundcloud as it's more compatible.

This image is a take on the classic pavement scene in the film Singin' in the Rain, with dancer Mickel Smithen as the one and only Gene Kelly.
Black Swan, photogaphed by Sean Goldthorpe, 11 Million Reasons exhibition

Professional dancers Welly O'Brien and Mickael Marso Riviere reimagine the famous lift from the film Dirty Dancing.
Black Swan, photogaphed by Sean Goldthorpe, 11 Million Reasons exhibition





Jacob Brown reimagines John Travolta's dance floor scene from the iconic 1970s film Saturday Night Fever.
Black Swan, photogaphed by Sean Goldthorpe, 11 Million Reasons exhibition

Inspired by a scene from Step Up 4, professional dancer and bboy Denny Haywood battles with 'The Mob': students from Leicester College.
Black Swan, photogaphed by Sean Goldthorpe, 11 Million Reasons exhibition

Pupils from Ellesmere College, Leicester encompass the energy of the High School Musical film phenomenon.
Black Swan, photogaphed by Sean Goldthorpe, 11 Million Reasons exhibition

An emotional scene in the film Billy Elliot, as Billy tells his father he wants to dance. Reimagined here by father and son Gil and Jake Maguire.
Black Swan, photogaphed by Sean Goldthorpe, 11 Million Reasons exhibition

Welly O'Brien as Vicky Page, longing to be a ballerina, inspired by the beautiful film The Red Shoes, with Leicester college student Chloe Corkett.
Red Shoes, photograhed by Sean Goldthorpe, 11 Million Reasons Exhibition

Dancer, Sheagh Broomhall inspired by Michael Jackson and the film Moonwalker.
Black Swan, photogaphed by Sean Goldthorpe, 11 Million Reasons exhibition

A romantic duet from the film Step Up 2, dancers Beth Gardiner and Mickel Smithen reimagine stunning choreography in this image.
Black Swan, photogaphed by Sean Goldthorpe, 11 Million Reasons exhibition

Denny Haywood reimagines the role of Danny from the iconic film Grease with T girl support from Samantha Gibson.
Black Swan, photogaphed by Sean Goldthorpe, 11 Million Reasons exhibition

Chris Fonseca & Jacob Riley-Moore inspired by the film The Blues Brothers with BSL interpreter Stacey Green signing the word communication.
Black Swan, photogaphed by Sean Goldthorpe, 11 Million Reasons exhibition

Laura Jones reimagines the iconic opening scene from the film The Sound of Music.
Black Swan, photogaphed by Sean Goldthorpe, 11 Million Reasons exhibition

Sheagh Broomhall, Tom Williams, Jacob Brown and Denny Haywood reimagine a version of the stage performance in the film The Full Monty.


Students from Oak Field School present a dance floor jive inspired by the hit film Hairspray.
Black Swan, photogaphed by Sean Goldthorpe, 11 Million Reasons exhibition

Sian Green takes centre stage as Nina Sayers in this image inspired by the film Black Swan.
Black Swan, photogaphed by Sean Goldthorpe, 11 Million Reasons exhibition

Kimberley Harvey, Louise Dickson, Beth Gardiner, Laura Dajao and Sian Green reimagine the sassy Cell Block Tango for this Chicago inspired image.
Black Swan, photogaphed by Sean Goldthorpe, 11 Million Reasons exhibition

Ballroom dancers Stephen Boyne and Linda Wilson create an adaptation from the film Strictly Ballroom.
Black Swan, photogaphed by Sean Goldthorpe, 11 Million Reasons exhibition

Kate Marsh and Tom St Louis create an adaptation of The Twist from the 1990s cult movie Pulp Fiction.


Professional dancer, Laura Jones reimagines the yellow brick road, from the classic film The Wizard of Oz.


Professional dancer Louise Dickson reimagines the iconic dance audition moment from the 1980s hit film Flashdance.
Black Swan, photogaphed by Sean Goldthorpe, 11 Million Reasons exhibition

Hire the exhibition
The exhibition is available for hire in the UK and overseas. The exhibition portfolio comes in a physical and a digital format. Both formats come with six short films on dance and disability and audio description files.

The physical format comes in an A1 foamboard mirror plated version that is couriered to the hirers location. The digital version comes in a file that is transfered to the hirer and the films are available to download to all hirers. The standard hire agreement is for up to one month, periods that go beyond that are negotiable. More hirers information can be found in the documents below. 

For all hire enquiries please email with preferred dates for hire to Louise Wildish: louise@communitydance.org.uk

Visit the exhibition

If you would like to experience the exhibition in person it is now at Dance City in Newcastle on permanent display until November 2018:

The creative team
The photographer
Sean Goldthorpe is a Leicester-based photographer having studied a Masters degree at De Montfort University, Sean has worked on a number of high profile commissions, including the world premiere of Aakash Odedra's 'Echoes and I Imagine' at Leicester's Curve; To see more of Sean's work visit sean-goldthorpe.squarespace.com
The participants
The participants involved in the photography exhibition were predominately Deaf and disabled people for whom dance is a large part of their life, either 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. Please see photography exhibition for list of names.
Set Dresser: Nicky Moorhouse, Producer: Louise Wildish, Hair and Make up: Kristie Matthiae, Photographer’s Assistant: Oscar Henton.
Thanks also 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, staff at Curve, Richard at Sheehans Music Shop, Estelle at 19Gale, Alaistair Read at Leicester City Council, Jess and Becky at Dance4, staff at New Walk Museum and Art Gallery, Drew Gardner and Lucinda Marland, Bhavna at the Peepul Centre, staff at The Core at Corby Cube, Para Dance UK, Jo Verrent and staff at Unlimited and everyone at People Dancing.


Useful contacts
You may also be interested in looking at our:

Useful contacts: Dance and disabled people



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 programme.www.weareunlimited.org.uk