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“Dancing in the Streets” Youth Exchange

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This project was born out of a common passion for using dance and movement as a tool to work with young people which was identified during a Partnership Building Activity: “Building a Network of European Youth Trainers” in Ireland.

After our Finnish partner shared a video about dancing in the streets, we decided as a group that this would make a great theme for an exchange. While working on the project more people got involved and the group grew into the 4 partners that we now have.

This project seeks to meet the need to allow young people to find out who they are and how they fit in society. It was felt that through the overuse of technology many young people have lost the connection between themselves and their bodies and as youth workers and young leaders, we have seen how this has negatively impacted on young people’s body image and self esteem.

The Aim of the project: To explore and gain a greater understanding of ‘identity’ and ‘self’ through cultural collaboration in dance and movement.

Objectives: Explore and share how we understand who we are, along with the influences that shape our identity Experience and understand cultural differences and similarities through dance Gain a greater understanding of the importance of movement in the modern world and the messages these relay.

Partners from: Finland, Netherlands, UK and Ireland.

Each partner except Ireland sent 5 young people and 2 youth leaders – one of these youth leaders will be specialised in dance. Ireland sent 8 young people, 2 youth leaders and 2 support staff. The profile of the participants was truly mixed. The Finnish and the Irish group are from a very rural area, with no or very few facilities. The groups from the Netherlands and the UK are from small cities – participants had very mixed abilities in the area of dance, but also came from diverse social and economic backgrounds.

The programme incorporated non-formal workshops, discussions, individual work, movement and dance, peer reflection and support, with a final performance in the streets of Galway city.

The programme was intense, with many workshops. The workshops were movement/dance based, but also incorporated non-formal aspects.

The movement were used as a method to explore who we are, how we deal with things (life) and how we express ourselves.

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