Scottish Government
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Move to get Scotland dancing

An initiative to encourage people and communities to take up dancing has been launched.

Get Scotland Dancing is part of the games legacy for Scotland Active Nation campaign, which is using the 2014 Commonwealth Games to inspire Scots to increase their physical activity and live longer, healthier lives.

Scotland has a vibrant dance sector with internationally renowned companies, organisations and talented individual artists. In the run up to Glasgow 2014 and beyond, the Scottish Government, through its partner organisations, will work with the sector to create opportunities to get communities across Scotland dancing.

Information about dance and how to get involved is available on the Active Nation website - www.ouractivenation.co.uk/dance - which also allows users to set dance-themed Personal Activity Goals.

Speaking at the Get Scotland Dancing launch in Glasgow, Culture Minister Fiona Hyslop said:

"Dance is part of Scotland's cultural identity. We have a long dance tradition taking in ceilidhs, the Highland fling, ballet, break dancing and everything in between.

"We want to get more Scots involved in dance. It's fun, creative, a great way to keep healthy and can be enjoyed by everyone - even if you've never done it before. With something happening in every local community, and information on the Active Nation website, it's never been easier to get involved."

Get Scotland Dancing was launched at a rehearsal of the mass choreographed dance routine which will be performed in Delhi at the Commonwealth Games Handover Ceremony later this month.

Minister for Public Health and Sport Shona Robison said:

"The Games handover ceremony will be a memorable occasion across Scotland and build real excitement and involvement in our communities as we take a significant step to hosting the Games in 2014.

"We want to create a lasting legacy from the Games and we want all Scots to be inspired to get more active. Our handover cast is made up of 352 people from all over Scotland, some of whom have never danced before. They are an excellent example of how anyone can join in, be inspired and get active."

Cast member Chimuka Nyamutale, who is 18 years old and from Airdrie, said:

"I got involved in dance when I was young. I just started messing around with my friends, copying clips on YouTube, getting into breakdancing. For me, it's just a hobby. I've performed in shows and street dance in Buchanan Street in Glasgow with my friends.

"Everyone can dance. All you have to do is listen to the music and move. It's so beneficial and enjoyable, if you give it a go, you'll enjoy it."

Gina Beck, aged 42 and from Drumchapel, said:

"Being part of the mass cast is fun, hard work and exciting. It's great meeting all the new people and learning new skills.

"Dancing is physically demanding and keeps you fit. I really enjoy it. It's something I do in my spare time and I go to a lot of dance fitness classes. I'm not the ideal make-up or shape for a dancer but if that encourages one or to people to go, then that's great."

Dance is also the major focus of the Games for Scotland events planned in all of Scotland's local authorities to mark the moment when the Commonwealth Games baton passes from Delhi to Glasgow.

The Active Nation Get Scotland Dancing initiative is part of A Games Legacy for Scotland. Active Nation aims to energise and motivate Scots to increase their physical activity in the run up to the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and beyond.

A Games Legacy for Scotland was officially launched on 1st September 2009 and sets out how the Scottish Government and its wide range of public, private and third sector partners aim to deliver a lasting legacy from Glasgow 2014 and other major events, such as the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and the Ryder Cup in 2014. The ambition for A Games Legacy for Scotland is to get Scotland fitter for the future and enhance Scotland's reputation internationally. The priority is to get Scotland physically active with people from all backgrounds, living long healthy lives.

As part of A Games Legacy for Scotland, the Scottish Government has allocated £320k for a programme of events celebrating the Commonwealth Games Handover to Glasgow from Delhi in October 2010.

The Handover Ceremony marks the Flag Handover from Delhi to Glasgow, and includes an eight minute creative programme to showcase Glasgow and Scotland to the rest of the world. The performance, which will involve a mass choreographed dance routine, will take place in the spectacular Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in front of a stadium audience of 60,000 during the Closing Ceremony of the 2010 Commonwealth Games. The performance will be beamed live across the Commonwealth to an estimated audience of one billion people.

Unspun is the internationally renowned, world-class team appointed to develop and deliver the Handover Ceremony. They bring a wealth of experience in creating spectacular public event: projects they have worked on include: Beijing 2008 Olympic Opening and Closing Ceremonies, Doha Asian Games Opening Ceremony, Turin 2006 Winter Olympic Opening & Closing Ceremonies, Manchester 2002 Commonwealth Games Closing Ceremony. They have also delivered successful projects for U2, Tina Turner, the Rolling Stones, and the Royal Opening of BAA Terminal 5.

EventScotland, the national events agency, is delivering the Games for Scotland programme as part of the Scottish Government's Games Legacy Plan.

Supportive quotes:

Stewart Harris, sportscotland Chief Executive, said:

"Get Scotland Dancing is a fantastic initiative that will raise the profile of dance as a creative and participative form of physical activity. sportscotland firmly believes in the benefits of an active and healthy lifestyle, with dance offering people of all ages the opportunity to keep fit and have fun at the same time."

Andrew Dixon, Chief Executive, Creative Scotland:

'Scotland's choreographers and dance companies are thriving, with an incredible range of talent to inspire us all. Get Scotland Dancing is a great opportunity to encourage more people to enjoy dance. Creative Scotland is delighted to be working with the Scottish Government on this initiative."

Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer at EventScotland, the national events agency, said:

"EventScotland welcomes the Scottish Government's commitment to Get Scotland Dancing - a fantastic initiative which will improve dance participation levels at events throughout the country. It's clear from the Games for Scotland programme, which features a range of dance-themed events, that dance is one of Scotland's key cultural assets and that the Scottish public have an appetite for a more active healthier lifestyle."

Bernard McLeary, Chief Executive of Learning and Teaching Scotland, said:

"Learning and Teaching Scotland is delighted to support Get Scotland Dancing as part of our contribution to the legacy of the 2014 Commonwealth Games. Dance is a powerful medium of connection and communication which can enthuse and engage young people and communities in active learning. It can help young people to make connections across the Commonwealth and to understand, appreciate and celebrate their own and other cultures. In this way they can develop as healthy and active global citizens, which is fundamental to Curriculum for Excellence."

Catherine Cassidy, Scottish Ballet Associate Director (Education), said:

"As Scotland's National Dance Company, Scottish Ballet is proud to support Get Scotland Dancing. Dance is a fundamental part of Scotland's cultural identity uniting both families and communities for generations. We have a wealth of dance professionals here in Scotland offering a range of dance styles from all over the world to suit everyone. What better way to feel good about yourself and get active?"

Janet Smith, Artistic Director of the Scottish Dance Theatre, said:

"The Scottish Government's Get Scotland Dancing campaign is a great opportunity to shine a light on some of the fantastic dance that's already happening across Scotland, from Highland to hip-hop, to celebrate Scotland as the dancing nation it is - both in its rich heritage and its world class dance companies - and to spread the word that dancing makes us both healthier and happier."

Winifred Jamieson, Performing Arts Curriculum Manager at Edinburgh's Telford College, said:

"As I have progressed through life and my career I am continually driven by the need to move and to also watch and enjoy dance. I have worked with the most inspiring people who are not only professional choreographers, teachers and colleagues but also the students I work with on a daily basis. It's a different world you enter when you are in the studio and that immediate, exciting, vibrant and all consuming experience is what makes me the person I am today.

"It is with this in mind that Get Scotland Dancing is such a worthwhile initiative. Whether we participate, create or simply enjoy as a spectator, dance is able to contribute to the nation's health, creativity and place as a cultural hub of the 21st Century."

Peter Royston, Dance Director of The Scottish School of Contemporary Dance, said:

"Get Scotland Dancing is a unique national opportunity to raise the profile of dance across all its diverse activities. Dance in Scotland is a huge success story and the fact that dancing has been chosen to unite the country is hugely significant. We want everyone to know how important dance is, in so many ways, to the people of Scotland."

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