Inspirational pictures show disabled dancers recreating iconic film moments to show that anyone can dance
Check out the inspirational pictures of disabled dancers recreating iconic film moments to show that anyone can dance.
Louise Wildish, 41, from Kettering, Northamptonshire produced the images to try to encourage people with disabilities to participate in dance classes.
More than 160 dancers took part in the re-imagined scenes from 20 films, including Billy Elliott, High School the Musical, the Wizard of Oz and more.
Each dancer was selected for a shoot relevant to challenging a misconception about their disability – such as a Chicago performed by dancers in wheelchairs.
The photographs were formed as part of an exhibition for Community Dance – a charity that helps disabled people get into or return to dance – and is currently touring the country.
Louise, a producer and dance instructor, said: “We wanted to flip perception on its head by taking well known and loved moments in film and having a disabled person in the iconic roles.
“I hope that when people first see the pictures they don’t realise that the dancer has a disability and then have to double take to notice because that will start conversations, discussions and educating people.
“There is a perception that if you’re in a wheelchair or have another disability you can’t dance, but that’s not the case, for me some of the most beautiful dancers I’ve seen have a disability.
“Chicago was a personal favourite for me as we could show the scene with five strong, independent, beautiful women who happen to be disabled.
“There were some very emotional moments too such as in our Black Swan images where the lady was dancing for the first time since losing her leg, which was really special to capture.
“Some of our pictures are more tongue in cheek like The Full Monty images but they all have an underlying message about disability that I hope will get people talking.
“With that shoot we didn’t want to oversexualise the shots but wanted to capture the ethos of the film which was ordinary working class men having fun and liberating themselves.
“It was really important for me to put in a range of disability, from physical disability to invisible ones too like dyslexia and fatigue, as invisible illnesses are often underrepresented.
“Dance is not owned by anyone or only for a select few people, anybody can do it whether they have a disability or not.
“We want to empower people with disabilities and show them that they can do and there isn’t anything that should stop them.”
The pictures took four weeks to complete in 12 indoor and outdoor locations in Leicestershire.
Photographer Sean Goldthorpe, 28, from Leicester said: “I was trying to catch the sense of enjoyment, freedom and joy the disabled performers feel by dancing.
“I want people to be blown away when they look at these dancers and for it to change their perceptions of disability.
“By the end of the shoots even my perceptions of disabled dancers had changed – I was surprised at how incredible they were even when I pushed them to make a big impact.
“At times it was quite difficult trying to represent mental disabilities because they are invisible illnesses but that in itself was a representation of the disability as it can’t be seen.”
“They were just as good, if not better than able bodied dancers, there were no half measures at all they gave it their all and it really paid off.
The exhibition 11 Million Reasons was named after the 11.6 million people with disabilities in the UK is touring around the UK until 2017.
It was funded by arts council England but is currently looking for sponsorship to take it internationally.
You can find out more information at: www.communitydance.org.uk