We are proud to announce that our innovative new programme using dance to tackle challenging subjects such as racism, homophobia, ableism and transphobia will be rolled out to primary schools across Scotland in 2019.

Delivered in line with key Scottish Government targets to address bullying in these areas, the Safe to be Me initiative is made possible with the support of Aberdeen Standard Investments. 

This pioneering project engages with Primary 6 pupils, aged 9-11, to explore themes that include identity, tolerance, acceptance, respect, ethnic and family diversity and LGBTQ+ communities.

After a successful pilot earlier this year, we plan to roll out the programme to primary schools across Scotland from August 2019. Feedback from pupils, teachers and parents has been extremely positive, demonstrating the value of a creative approach to help schools introduce and discuss these important topics. 

Pupils are initially introduced to the themes by a team of experienced dance practitioners in the weeks leading up to watching a performance, which is choreographed by Scottish Ballet’s Engagement Creative Director, Lorraine Jamieson. The pupils then take part in a full-day workshop where they have the opportunity to create their own Safe to be Me performance; encouraging each of them to be comfortable with who they are.

‘As one of Scotland’s national performing companies, we are proud to present this programme that celebrates diversity and inclusion. ‘Safe to be Me’ is a creative performance project that reflects our communities’ values, encouraging 10-year-old pupils to celebrate difference and gain respect for themselves and one another.’

Catherine Cassidy, Director of Engagement

A perfect fit for Aberdeen Standard Investments, Safe to be Me is in line with their corporate vision to work towards a culture of inclusion where everyone is able to be fully themselves at work. 

‘The ‘Safe to be Me’ initiative is a powerful tool to help Scotland’s children develop compassion for others and confidence in themselves. Inclusive workplaces are better for people and better for business – but to fully succeed we need to evoke change across society. That includes helping our young people on the right path and I can’t think of a more compelling way to engage children than dance and performance in a supportive environment.’

Lynne Connolly, Global Head of Diversity and Inclusion at Aberdeen Standard Investments

To find out more about how your school can be involved in the programme, please contact engagement@scottishballet.co.uk.