Aileen Campbell visits Duncanrig Secondary School to see the benefits of the YDance Active project.   

Minister for Public Health and Sport, Aileen Campbell, visited Duncanrig Secondary School in East Kilbride on Friday to witness first-hand the benefits the YDance Active project is having on getting more teenage girls physically active through dance.

Established in 2012, the initiative is part of the nationwide Active Girls Project that YDance is delivering in partnership with sportscotland to support girls in school and community settings to become more physically active through dance. The programme aims to train a qualified Dance Leader for every participating school who can help support an extracurricular dance programme within their school or local community.

The project has been supported by government funding allocated to the Active Girls initiative. With the funding due to end in March this year, YDance wants to continue to work with the government to continue to promote physical activity for teenage girls and young people in Scotland.

YDance invited Ms Campbell along to Duncanrig Secondary School to meet the girls who have taken part in the YDance Active initiative, and discuss YDance’s work and the future of physical activity promotion for young people, and teenage girls in particular.

The Minister watched part of the class before being invited to join in herself. Ms Campbell, along with MSP for East Kilbride Linda Fabiani, and Duncanrig’s Headteacher George Wynne, joined in with a street dance routine led by YDance Active staff Kelly Shearer and Gillian Smith. The Minister also talked with the girls taking part in the class to find out how the project had impacted them.

Ms Campbell, Minister for Public Health and Sport said:

“Getting Scotland more active and creating a healthier nation is one of our goals and we need to look at how we do that for everyone, so activities like dancing have an important part to play in that. It was great to come along and watch the girls get involved in a programme which is not only innovative and encourages physical activity, but also fun – it was great to get a chance to take part too! I want to thank all of the girls, staff and volunteers who have been involved in making YDance a success.”

Carolyn Lappin, YDance Executive Director said:

“As a national organisation, YDance has been working to increase the number of girls and young women becoming more physically active through dance through various programmes since 2005. The YDance Active programme has been in existence since 2012, and has involved more than 12,000 teenage girls, with almost 2000 girls gaining Award in Dance Leadership qualifications.  Projects like this help to address the inequalities that exist between genders in physical activity levels, and YDance is proud to be contributing to making Scotland a healthier, more active nation.”