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Sports Leaders UK creates new programme for dancing men

Posted on October 25, 2010

Sports Leaders UK has created a new programme, “Boys on Beat”, aimed at teenagers and young men in Scotland.

“We’ve run a number of ‘Girls on the Move’ courses in the past, designed to increase physical activity levels amongst girls and young women, and these included dance,” explains Philip Ritchie of Youth Scotland. “But we’ve seen an increase in demand for courses for young men – so we decided to give the Level 1 Award in Dance Leadership a trial run from a male perspective.”

In August, Philip and colleagues from Sports Leaders UK and Youth Scotland put toether a week-long residential course in Perthshire for men aged 16–24. “The response was superb,” says Philip. “Street dance is hugely popular. We wanted to tap into this newfound enthusiasm and encourage young men to take up physical exercise. And of course, we’d be teaching them organisational and leadership skills at the same time.” The residential course, based at Kilgraston School in the Bridge of Earn, has also given the young men a qualification, which could be used as a stepping stone to further education. Philip hopes to run similar courses following the success of this pilot programme. 


Zoë was born in Edinburgh, and saw her first dance performances at the Festival there. She is the dance critic of The Independent, and has also written for The Independent on Sunday, The Scotsman and Dancing Times. In 2002, she received her doctorate from the University of York for a thesis on “Nationhood and epic romance: Ariosto, Sidney, Spenser”. She is the author of The Royal Ballet: 75 Years and The Ballet Lover’s Companion.

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