YDance (Scottish Youth Dance), the award-winning national dance organisation for children and young people in Scotland, have been awarded £35,892 by the Scottish Government’s Youth Arts Fund through Creative Scotland for Take Flight, a brand-new collaborative project to enhance learning in three schools across North Lanarkshire – Cathedral Primary School in Motherwell, St Monica’s Primary School in Coatbridge and Woodland’s Primary School in Cumbernauld.

Take Flight, which is based on curiosity, will run from May 2021 to March 2022. It will be collaborative, brave and encourage a rich learning experience where everyone involved – children, teachers and dance artists – work together to ensure performance making comes from a shared exploration into the unknown. Take Flight will embed creative learning into the school and give children a broad range of ways to connect and use movement and text to express new ideas and embrace risk taking through creativity. The project will culminate in an outdoor show with each school at a site in their local community.

Take Flight will be delivered by Anna Kenrick, YDance Artistic Director, Philippa Clark, a hugely experienced freelance theatre maker who specialises in working in community settings with diverse and marginalised groups, and YDance Head of Education, Linzi McLagan, a leader in dance education pedagogy. They will be joined by three emerging dance artists aged 21 – 25 years who are currently being recruited for the project. The three emerging artists will take part in a “development hub” to gain specialised training to develop their learning and passion as dance educators, performers and choreographers.

The teachers and creative team will work together in a virtual “creative hub” throughout the project to explore personal tacit assumptions of the arts and dance, critical thought, creative exploration, working with the unknown and pupil agency.

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Take Flight is funded by the Scottish Government’s Youth Arts Fund through Creative Scotland with support from Youth Music Initiative and Time to Shine. The Youth Arts Fund ensures creative opportunities for children and young people continue to exist across Scotland despite the COVID-19 pandemic.