Dance groups from across the county performed alongside nationally-acclaimed dance company Stopgap Dancing at the 11 Million Reasons Performance Evening last week.
Youth dance companies for disabled and non-disabled dancers from Spalding, North Kesteven, Mansfield and Boston came together to celebrate dance as part of 11 Million Reasons. Aiming to positively profile disabled and Deaf people who dance, the project is being carried out around South Lincolnshire in partnership with arts organisations Transported and artsNK,
The local dance groups paid homage to iconic cinematic dance moments at the Performance Evening, which took place at the South Holland Centre last Wednesday. Dancers took inspiration from the 11 Million Reasons to Dance Photography exhibition by Sean Goldthorpe that was on display in Spalding earlier this year, and performed scenes from Footloose, Billy Elliot and Flashdance,
Stopgap Dancing, a nationally-renowned company whose work integrates disabled and non-disabled dancers, headlined the performance evening.
11 Million Reasons was conceptualised in 2014 to positively profile Deaf and disabled people who dance, and takes its name from the eleven million disabled people living in the UK. The project was commissioned by People Dancing and is touring in partnership with Transported, artsNK and other arts organisations around the East Midlands.
Last week’s performers included dancers from Diamondz DG, Polka Dot Dance Academy, the Elite, Pride Dance Group’s disability dance firm and Spalding Inclusive D&D Dance Group all from Spalding, SANDance from Mansfield and ONE NK Inclusive D&D Dance Group from North Kesteven.
The 11 Million Reasons project has been commissioned by People Dancing and supported by Unlimited Impact and Arts Council England. The 11 Million Reasons to Dance Photography Exhibition was exhibited at Ayscoughfee Hall and the South Holland Centre throughout January and February, and will return to Spalding later this year.
Amy Dalton, Head of Dance Development for artsNK said: ““I am delighted that so many local community dance groups could perform at 11 Million Reasons to Dance. The show was a hugely positive and special experience – for some young people their first time on stage. It was a real pleasure welcoming nationally -acclaimed Stopgap Dance Company to Spalding to help highlight disability awareness and to bring together so many young people. Thanks to People Dancing, South Holland Centre and South Holland District Council for making this wonderful event happen.”
Emma Bouch, Dance teacher for Inclusive Dance groups in Spalding and North Kesteven said: ‘It was great to share such a rewarding experience with the dancers who have been working really hard over the past few months. The 11 Million Reasons performance was the first time on stage for many of the dancers and they had a fantastic time. All of the parents enjoyed seeing their children perform! We were delighted to be joined by Stopgap Performance for their inspirational and thought provoking piece”