Health, disability & well-being

Funding level: £5,001 to £10,000


London Youth supports a network of over 400 diverse community youth organisations where young people choose to go. Here they learn in a range of settings through sports development, youth social action, outdoor education, inclusion and employability.

London Youth have been expanding their dance offer to these communities working in partnership with Leanne Pero Director of The Movement Factory, an award winning dance enterprise based in South London. With the support of the Exercise, Movement & Dance Partnership (EMDP), the national governing body for dance fitness, the aim is to expand this work to have an even more significant impact on these communities. So far, dance has been very popular as an alternative activity to traditional sport and the need and demand is substantial for opportunities such as this.

Less than 40% of young Londoners play any sport outside of school with the lowest income households being the most likely to have the ‘least active’ children spending less than £2 a week on sport. Girls are also at risk of missing out on the opportunity to engage in sport and physical activity sometimes this is due to emotional or social issues but also it is because there is a distinct lack of targeted programmes that offer high quality opportunities to engage them.

In order to develop more attractive opportunities for girls we will support 20, 18 – 30 year olds to undergo the Sports Leaders - Level 2 Certificate in Dance Fitness Leadership over October half term 2015. This will be a week long intensive training course where they will learn skills to support the delivery of dance fitness sessions in their community as well as valuable and transferable life skills including; communication, networking, planning and confidence. In addition, this is a fantastic chance for the young people involved to explore teaching as an attractive and rewarding career for those who love to dance.

The Certificate in Dance Fitness Leadership will explore:
- The qualities and values of a good leader
- How to adapt sessions to be inclusive to participants
- How to plan, lead and evaluate their dance fitness session
- How to deliver a safe and effective session

Once they have completed the training, with support from a qualified teacher, they will be required to demonstrate their dance fitness leadership skills by supporting the delivery of 15 hours of dance fitness sessions within their local community. This will be supported through EMDP’s partners and networks to help them source venues, great teachers to mentor them as well as offering them marketing materials and online advice.

The young people will become Exercise, Move, Dance Champions within their community acting as an ambassador to activate 8 – 16 year olds who are currently inactive and inspire them towards a healthy and active lifestyle. At the same time the dance fitness sessions will bring the local community together to create unique and cherished social opportunities.

At the end of the 6 week period the young people will come together once more at a residential to share their experiences as well as learn additional skills to enhance their learning. This final training session will equip them with the tools to reach deeper into their community which will aim to include, basic First Aid training, personable skills for new participants and supporting those with additional needs. These sessions will be chosen through consultation with the young people.

Offering young people the chance to fully own and direct opportunities for sports and physical activity participation is one way of ensuring that they buy into and engage long term. Leanne Pero, who set up The Movement Factory when she was 15 years old, recognised that dance had the power to keep young people focused, off the streets and away from crime. This ethos will be embedded throughout the project.

Project Video

London Youth with The Movement Factory

Moment of Pride

Rochelle Janman (19) has been part of TMF, Croydon since the age of 13. 'I love what TMF do because I get access to teaching & business workshops & weekly dance classes. I'm proud that the young people in our community are able to showcase their talent & I hope this work can continue in other areas'

Location: London