Taking GIANT DANCE STEPS to improving Lives
Streetz Ahead have been funded by the Big Lottery for their project DANCE GIANTS in building emotional resilience and wellbeing in young people’s lives.
The Dance Giants project, is the brain child of Elizabeth Lahav. Her vision was to culminate her 25 years of experience in teaching, dance and education and create a project that would allow young people to excel with the support of a nurturing and engaging dance and mentoring project.
Dance Giants is 3-year street dance, hip hop and mentoring programme for children in Haringey aged 9-14 at high risk of underachieving, exclusion from school or from families exposed to deprivation or crime. These children face significant challenges caused by the coronavirus pandemic including isolation, disruption to daily lives and education, mental stress and family loss. The programme provides early intervention at a crucial time for children, supporting their transition into secondary school which is recognised as a difficult and traumatic period of change. The programme supports young people by strengthening their mental health, resilience and self-belief. It runs in five schools and includes a strong link back to children’s families. We work with 225 at-risk young people, 80% are from ethnically diverse communities. The project engages with children aged 10 – 14-year-olds.
Our Dance Giants, who are all professional dancers experienced in teaching dance to vulnerable young people, lead 90-minute sessions at participating schools to explore issues important to the children which is developed and expressed through dance. Our trained mentors help children work through their concerns using imaginative/creative outlets, such as spoken word and poetry, and also provide 1-2-1 support.
The children are currently working together to develop their end of year performance which will include dance, spoken word, reflections and film clips documenting their journey. This end of year celebration is a vital part of acknowledging their hard work and it will give them a real sense of achievement.
‘We have been very impressed with the delivery of the project so far and we have seen the children make very positive progress.’
‘Dance giants is a place for me to express my self and clear my mind as well as meet new people’
‘I would like you guys to know that you guys make me feel like I’m in a safe space and that I can do anything if I put my mind to it.’
‘Just to say thank you for organising the project we really appreciate.’