YDance wins prestigious award

children dancing

Y-Dance, the national dance organisation for children and young people in Scotland, has won a One Dance UK Research in Dance Awards, in recognition of the research work undertaken in the primary education project, Shake It Up.

The Network for Social and Educational Equity team (NSEE) evaluated the project, which was aimed at raising attainment for more than 5,000 primary school children in four local authority areas as part of the Scottish Government’s Attainment Challenge – Glasgow, North Lanarkshire, West Dunbartonshire and Clackmannanshire. The project was funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation.

Shake It Up was designed to enable children to learn a range of curriculum subjects through dance, increase pupils’ engagement through a kinaesthetic approach, and leave a sustainable legacy of teachers with the skills and knowledge to continue to develop this kind of integrated curricular lesson delivery. Sessions covered a range of subjects including numeracy, literacy, science, health and wellbeing, and social sciences.

Thorough evaluation

The NSEE team carried out a thorough and informative evaluation of the work using interviews, focus group discussions, and a questionnaire survey with pupils and staff.

Teacher experiences of the YDance programme were overwhelmingly positive and they were generally enthusiastic about their involvement in the initiative, and they agreed that the Shake It Up objectives involved using a kinaesthetic/dance learning approach, which would enhance their pedagogical skillset to enhance learner outcomes.

Many teachers spoke about the positive impact of the Shake It Up lessons on pupil learning and highlighted how the programme articulated well with Curriculum for Excellence (CfE).

The One Dance UK Awards are an annual celebration for people from across the dance sector to unite, celebrate, acknowledge and reward the people who have made an impact on the UK dance landscape.

Linzi McLagan, head of education, at YDance: “It has been an exciting time for YDance. Over the last year, we have shared our learning from ‘Shake It Up’ within the dance and education sector both nationally and internationally. We were able to share our findings through the evaluation that was published by the Network for Social and Educational Equity team at the Robert Owen Centre for Educational Change.”



We are the Network for Social and Educational Equity, based in the Robert Owen Centre for Educational Change at the University of Glasgow. We work with governments, educational institutions, local authorities and teachers to promote educational change.

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About NSEE

The Network for Social and Educational Equity (NSEE) is part of the Robert Owen Centre for Educational Change (ROC) at the University of Glasgow.

It works in collaboration with schools, local authorities, Education Scotland and partner services to tackle the poverty-related attainment gap in young people’s education.

NSEE helps schools to use appropriate evidence and data within collaborative working approaches to critically examine context and current arrangements, make changes based on evidence, monitor the impact of these changes and reflect on what they learn.

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