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date: 20 May 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The Free To Dance project run by YDance (Scottish Youth Dance) aimed to encourage teenage girls who had opted out of physical education and sports in school and community, to become more physically active and to realize their potential as individuals through positive dance experiences. It was run in three locations in Scotland, and was taught by dance artists from YDance. Participants fell into two categories: (i) those who did less than five hours physical activity, and (ii) ‘hard-to-reach’ teenagers who had previously faced barriers preventing them from joining in physical activities. Free to Dance involved three main types of programme delivery: a schools programme, a community programme, and a dance leadership training programme. The participants learned street and contemporary dance techniques, sometimes leading to performances. The study considers the participants’ view of the impact that the project had on their life, in terms of self-image, confidence, physical fitness, and ambitions.

Keywords: physical activity, community dance, adolescents, self-image

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