As Scotland’s national dance company, we aim to inspire people of all ages and abilities to get involved in dance.
In 2019 we created Safe to Be Me™, supported by Aberdeen Standard Investments (ASI). Our vision was to celebrate the differences in all of us through performance and workshop experiences for 10—12 year olds, guided by the Scottish Government’s 2018 campaign against homophobia, racism, bigotry, transphobia and ableism. This project allowed us to use dance to create a safe space for young people to explore issues of diversity and inclusion in an increasingly challenging world, encouraging an open dialogue where it is ‘safe to be me’.
ASI’s company-wide inclusivity strategy, internal LGBT network and understanding of our key aims for StBM™ made them the perfect partner for this initiative. A pilot stage was delivered in spring 2019, and stage one carried out in autumn 2019.
Workshops took place across the Highlands and the central belt, engaging with primary 6 pupils. Learning basic ballet technique and encouraged through collaboration, participants worked creatively with the delivery team of dancers to create their own performance incorporating the core themes.
ASI have been closely involved in the planning of year two. We have moved the project online, creating the Safe to Be Me™ festival in 2021. The digital format will widen reach and engage with families of participants to strengthen the core message of diversity and inclusion, supported by ASI’s ethos ‘where you can be you’.