Shake It Up

Shake It Up

About Shake It Up

Shake It Up is a four-year initiative funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, which uses dance to support improvements in attainment levels in primary schools.

Started in 2017, Shake It Up operates in four local authority areas which are part of the Scottish Government’s Attainment Challenge. From January 2017 until December 2018, Shake It Up was delivered in Glasgow and North Lanarkshire, and in 2019 and 2020 it is operating in West Dunbartonshire and Clackmannanshire.   Running alongside the delivery programme, a research and evaluation impact study is being carried out by the Robert Owen Centre for Educational Change at the University of Glasgow. 

Shake It Up is designed to enable children to learn a range of curriculum subjects through dance and to leave a sustainable legacy of teachers with the skills and knowledge to continue to develop this kind of integrated curricular lesson delivery. Sessions cover a range of subjects including numeracy, literacy, health & well-being and social sciences. The project has introduced a way for schools to experience dance as an intervention which supports learning and aims to increase pupils’ engagement through a kinaesthetic process.

Two full-time Dance Education Artists in Residence each work for a day a week in a primary school. They work in close partnership with selected teachers to plan and deliver the project ensuring the benchmarks of the subject are met through the dance workshops.

Project Aims

  • Increase pupils’ engagement with learning
  • Increase in subject knowledge, achievement and attainment
  • Improve self-confidence, social skills, concentration and team working
  • Improve health and wellbeing through physical activity
  • Develop new methods of effective teaching by exploring ways to use dance in cross curricular work
  • Develop teachers’ skills and confidence in delivering dance as a subject and teaching through dance


Shake It Up is funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation with additional funding from Garfield Weston Foundation, New Park Educational Trust, Gilchrist Educational Trust, James T Howat Charitable Trust and Commonweal Fund.

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