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The Big Stride Project

The Big Stride Project

Over the past twelve months the Big Stride Project has engaged over 90 children and young people in a creative anti-bullying themed dance programme to help build awareness, confidence and self-esteem, as well as develop friendships, increase positivity and raise aspirations.

Dance is a creative activity that compliments other forms of intelligence and provides a vehicle for young people to express themselves. For young people less able to talk about difficult issues concerning them, dance is a form of expression and release. The young people who took part in the programme explained,

“It’s good this because most bullying stuff would be talking but with this you can think about bullying but you get to do something fun too and learn some dancing.”

The Big Stride Project was designed to send out anti-bullying messages and build confidence, self-esteem and feelings of self-worth. Through the promotion of friendship the groups were encouraged to put trust in one another through games and dance activities.

“We’ve learned a lot about anti-bullying through the dances we have done. When we do the drama type dance we all take on different roles, we choreograph things like fight scenes and people being bullied and it makes you think.”

“This is a nice group, I’ve been able to talk and share things.”

“I feel more confident to be able to stop the bully’s now.”

“I’ve used some of the skills I have learned here in my school.”

“When we come here we feel safe and that no bullying will ever happen in this group.”

Members of the programme were awarded a Stride t-shirt as a reward for their contribution to the project. The project funded by East Durham AAP engaged children and young people in four, 12 week anti-bullying themed creative dance programmes. The programmes took place in four community venues across East Durham.

In addition to the ‘anti-bullying’ focused sessions and to continue the positive experience, additional gifted and talented programmes were ran throughout the course of the funding. Young people became part of these programmes by expressing an interest in developing their dance skills further. These young people received dance training from Nouveau’s professional dancers and instructors, received support and advice on how to develop further, and are completing Arts Award Qualifications as a result of the Project. The young people have also attended a professional show 'Hairspray' and performed at a range of platforms.

"It’s given us new opportunities like dancing for the Christmas lights switch on and doing the Arts Award and Keyfund.”

“Some of us want to study sport and dance when we leave school so it will be really helpful with that.”

“It’s hard trying to choreograph things yourself but it’s good having the challenge and we have been given lots of help from Bethany to do it.”

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