11 million reasons to dance
Commissioned in 2014 by People Dancing, with support from Unlimited Impact and Arts Council England, ‘11 Million Reasons to Dance’ is a disabled dance project that aims to shine a positive light on deaf and disabled dancers. It aims to challenge the perceptions people may have about those with a disability, and reflects the fact that there are more than 11 million disabled people living in the UK.
At the core of the project is a touring photography exhibition that is currently at Ayscoughfee Hall! The exhibition features photographs by emerging photographer Sean Goldthorpe, with images inspired by iconic dance film scenes.
The project has been developed further, and in collaboration with a range of local venues, dance artists, educational establishments and cultural agencies have created a dance programme that runs alongside the touring exhibition. In Spalding, the performance aspect of the programme will be held at the South Holland Centre, just down the road from Ayscoughfee Hall Museum, following the exhibition.
The hope is that this project may act as a stimulative platform for conversations surrounding disability to take place, to shift the ways in which people view disability, and to highlight ‘invisible’ disabilities. The project also aims to help people connect with each other – using recognisable films that people across all abilities can relate to – and to encourage people to see that anyone can take up dancing!
By Elsa Trueman, Resilience Syndicate Intern at Ayscoughfee Hall Museum and Gardens