Dare Devilz Boys Dance project

Barrow 2011

Boys Dance 2011
A collaborative research project with Edge Hill University in motivating boys to dance

Following a number of sucessful boys dance projects in breakdance and hip hop we opened the conversation with colleagues on how do we motivate boys to try other dance forms.  In response Debbie Milner, Lecturer at Edge Hill University, told us about her MA through which she was researching how to motivate boys to dance.  As part of that research she had set up an undergraduate boys dance company EDGEfwd who were making work for performance.  We hatched a plan to bring 4-6 EDGEfwd dancers to Barrow to take part in  workshops in Schools led by Debbie Milner aimed at boys in yr 5,6,7,8.  The workshops were based on the theme of fall and flight and were of a Contemprary dance style.  Dancing alongside the very talented and very cool EDGEfwd dancers our young men were motivated not only to dance but to compete.  At the end of each class Debbie asked 'who would like to be a dancer - like these guys?' and every time a full house.  After 4 days of workshops we planned phase 2 which was to audition or somehow select 10-12 boys to be a new Boys  Youth Dance Company.  We selected a group through workshops and Debbie choreographed a mesmerising dance for Dare Devilz YDC and 4 EDGEfwd dancers based on the relationships of Bg Brother, Little Brother.  The evaluation provided  strong evidence that role models for boys in dance is the biggest contributor to taking part and sustaining participation.  ' Belonging ' was key feature in motivation.  

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