The UK development organisation and membership
body for community and participatory dance
You are here:> Home > Developing Participation > 11 Million Reasons to Dance > About the exhibition
About the exhibition
People Dancing, with support from Unlimited Impact and Arts Council England, created the 11 Million Reasons to Dance photography exhibition in 2014. Its vision was to positively profile Deaf, sight impaired and disabled people who dance and to desegregate them from anyone else who dances. We wanted to change people's views around disabled artists and disabled people.

We did this by commissioning emerging photographer Sean Goldthorpe to create 20 high quality images inspired by iconic dance moments from film. These challenging, yet entertaining images present Deaf and disabled people centre stage as they reimagine classic roles from well-known, much-loved films from all sorts of genres. Look out for ‘Gene Kelly’ singin’ in the rain, ‘Moira Shearer’ in The Red Shoes and ‘Judy Garland’ somewhere in The Wizard of Oz, for example. The work is supported by audio description files and a short film programme. There is also a digital version available.

From London’s Southbank Centre to Tramway, Glasgow, from Valencia’s Festival 10 to one of Hong Kong’s most fashionable restaurants, this game-changing, generous 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 visual arts sector.

Exhibition tour dates

Meet the photographer
Sean Goldthorpe Photographer, image from Facebook, 2016

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, for example. 

To see more of Sean’s work visit
Behind the scenes

If the film won't play, click here

The making of 11 Million Reasons took only 3 months to create. Once funding was secured, photographer Sean Goldthorpe was commissioned and planning took place with the producer. Various locations were used both indoor and outdoor, and with over 100 people involved in the shoots, and over 60 disabled dancers taking part. The shoots happened in December and January and images were selected in a few days. The final images were launched at a thank you event for participants in May 2014 at Curve in Leicester. To meet some of the team behind the making - take a look behind the scenes, play our short film.

The creative team
The participants involved in the 11 Million Reasons to Dance 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. Here’s a full list of those involved in this ground-breaking 11 Million Reasons to Dance project:
Photographer – Sean Goldthorpe
Set Dresser – Nicky Moorhouse
Producer - Louise Wildish
Hair and Make up – Kristie Matthiae
Photographer’s 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 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, 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.
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.
Critics' corner
A group of disabled dancers is taking part in a photography exhibition to prove anyone can dance – and to encourage others to say “yes, I can.” The project, called 11 Million Reasons to Dance, was thought up by People Dancing to “positively profile” deaf and disabled people who dance, and “desegregate” them from anyone else who dances.
Huffington Post 

Inspiring pictures of disabled dancers re-imagining iconic film moments to show that anyone can dance.

Often there are misinformed ideas about disabled people. Projects like this are important to send the message that they are capable of the same passions as an able bodied person.