Everybody Dance Now Blog

The importance of Everybody Dance Now…

Posted by on 11 September 2014

Our dance artist, Vikkie Steege, is working with YMCA Downslink Group on the Brighton project of EDN. We asked the group leaders why being involved was important for the young people they work with.

Why is EDN important to your group?

YMCADLG work with many young people. As an Engagement and Learning coordinator I work daily with young people aged 16 – 25 that have become homeless through a variety of different reasons. This can be family breakdowns, drug and alcohol related issues and a host of negative influences that include getting in trouble with the police and not attending school. Many young people that we work with come to us with low aspirations and a negative feeling, and sometimes no feeling at all, about what the future may hold. What we look at doing is helping to raise aspirations and self esteem, this can then be a spring board to believing that achieving is a definite possibility. Then achieving becomes a possibility in life too.

The chance of working with EDN, in a project that really appeals to young people from the off, really appeals to our way of working and this is truly a rare opportunity where young people can be ‘hooked in’ by something that they are really interested in and then hopefully realise that it is possible to achieve in life. Every single young person that I have spoken to about what EDN is doing has given positive feedback on the project. We here, at YMCADLG are very excited.
Jason Anderton, Engagement and Learning co-ordinator (Brighton and Hove) YMCA DLG 

Why is EDN important to your group?

From my perspective I manage a project for very vulnerable young people who quite often will have had it pretty tough throughout their lives. I’m always very conscious that we talk to them a lot about the ‘negative’ or problematic parts of their lives but very seldom address the positive things. When asked I have noticed that they can struggle to identify what is good and I work a lot around trying to get clients to look for even very small positives in their lives. Engaging young people in opportunities that give them something positive to think about and to talk about helps to improve their awareness that life can be fun. It helps them to move out from under the cloud and gives them something to get energised about. It’s easy for any of us, when things are bad, to get sucked into the idea that nothing in life is good and there is no hope to change it. Creative experiences such as Everybody Dance Now don’t come along too often and it’s great that some of our service users will get a chance take part in a project that will give them something good to talk about!
Helen O’Brien; Project Coordinator for The WiSE Project, Brighton and Hove