Photographer: Sean Goldthorpe
Photo sourced from : People Dancing

Last year before I left my role as a intern Assistant to Producer at People Dancing (previously Foundation for Community Dance) I was in the midst of the foundations for a vision to create a exhibition of photographs of iconic dance moments from films by disabled dancers, a project that would eventually have the title of 11 Million Reasons. I remember Louise Wildish (Producer of Dance, Deaf and Disabled People at People Dancing) coming up with this great idea, it was a great way of capturing the bodies of Disabled Artists in a way that would create conversation surrounding our dance sector and the aesthetic of bodies. I was at the start of the process grabbing initial information for those pictures and moments we'd capture, I left with high hopes for Louise's vision and was so excited to hear the final products had been created and were now displayed in the Curve Theatre, Leicester this week.
I looked odd wondering around Curve for these pictures that I wanted to see so much but when I saw them, I wasn't disappointed. Displayed on two separate walls were these 20 images inviting us to look closer at the bodies presented in dance. It captivated the beauty of the disabled body, there were specific pictures that I wanted to start moving like a movie. 

There wasn't a specific disability shown, there were invisible disabilities as much as those which we can see physically in the images. There was so many iconic dance moments that anybody, any age knew and could relate to by seeing them on the TV or in the cinema sometime. I could see Baby lifted by her own Patrick Sawyze for 'Dirty Dancing', the sassy ladies of Chicago's Cell Block Tango and young Billy Elliot dancing to his dad's confusion/frustration. 

It was so great that People Dancing collaborated with so many different groups (in particular a shout out to WDSA who I have the privilege of working for as voluntary Social Media Manager and have for over 12 months now!) and individual dance artists through the creation of 11 Million Reasons showcasing the unity that this part of the sector has on offer. I almost wanted to grab the pictures and put them in a more public space, not a specific arts based environment that would be seen by people who enjoy the arts but in fact somewhere hugely public for all of society to see and create an open opinion of. It gives us time to pause, embrace what we have in the arts sector and through the tough economic times the opportunity to celebrate why it should be presented through small projects like 11 Million Reasons. It felt like an education for those unaware of the different bodies and the truth that anybody can dance despite their disability.

I wish there was people around me soaking in these images so that I could have opened up a conversation on what they saw and how it made them feel seeing the images? Did they feel comfortable to see a disabled person dancing? It's so frustrating that this opportunity isn't available to us enough to talk about disabled bodies in dance. I should make it my own personal mission right?

Let me know what you think! - I really hope it develops for something for everyone to go and see.

Go and check out People Dancing's great work by following them on Twitter @PeopleDancing or checking out their website 
thanks for reading,