A new dance project aimed at 12 – 16 year olds in Wood Farm, Rose Hill and Blackbird Leys

The ‘M’ Word, led by Body Politic’s Emma-Jane Greig, is a year-long street dance project exploring issues around mental health in young people. The project is the development of a 10-week dance project held in Wood Farm last year which engaged a large group of young people, all of whom wanted it to continue.

Dance fully engages young people and meets key health and well-being needs by combining physical activity, social interaction and creativity with emotional expression. The project will offer a wide range of opportunities helping to build interpersonal skills and leadership development.

Whilst offering high quality and enjoyable dance opportunities to young people from some of Oxford’s most deprived communities, the project will focus on improving their mental health.

In a recent interview, Oxfordshire Mind’s Director, Dan Knowles stated “I would say at an overall level there is a deteriorating picture of young people’s mental health in the UK...PREVENTION is the key to helping the ‘deteriorating’ picture of young people’s mental health.” Even the Royals have created a #headstogether campaign to encourage more young people to talk about mental health. It appears that the UK is starting to address issues around mental health more and more, and we are very excited to be a part of it!

The dancers aged 12-16yrs will have ownership of the project by steering its development over the year, and shaping its long-term future.  The ‘M’ Word will launch with a series of taster sessions in each area followed by weekly dance sessions. The sessions will run during term-time and offer opportunities to engage with the various city-wide dance festival events (linking in with Dancin’ Oxford).

Emma-Jane Greig said, ‘I am really looking forward to launching this project. Through working with Oxfordshire Mind and, more recently, Littlemore Mental Health Centre I witnessed the positive impact dance can have on physical and emotional wellbeing. Plus, it’s fun! What’s more, the partnership with Dancin’ Oxford will enable young people to experience new skills, watch professional companies and gain a unique insight into the dance industry.’ 

Find out more:

If you’re interested in finding out more, or have a young person who may benefit from these sessions please click here. No previous experience required- open to everyone!

You can also email EmJ directly on emj@dbtestzone2.com

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