What is the social/environmental problem/issue that this project will address?
Adults between 18 and 40 years identifying as a sexual or gender minority are more than three times as likely to suffer depression and isolation and more than four times as likely to attempt suicide than their peers
Transgender individuals are a particular risk group: 58% of all young trans people attempt or consider suicide at some point.
Despite their increased risk, LGBTQ individuals who are suffering from depression and isolation may face additional problems when seeking treatment and appropriate services due to homophobia, biphobia and transphobia.
However, it has been shown that a supportive environment and access to other LGBTQ individuals can significantly reduce the feelings of isolation and drastically lower the risk of self-harm and suicide.
Can you give us some statistics on this problem?
As well as increased risk of psychological ill health, LGBTQ groups are an increased risk group for poor body image, low self-esteem and eating disorders. These problems affect more than a quarter of the population, with significantly higher incidences in LGBTQ groups.
LGBTQ Men, in particular, are estimated to be 4 times more likely to suffer an eating disorder with incidence in LGBTQ women still a statistically frightening twice that of the general female population.
As well as the serious health risks, this insecurity exacerbates feelings of social exclusion and can further discourage some individuals from participating in activities which could be good for their health (e.g. sports and exercise) because “they don’t feel like they belong”.
Dance is one of the most powerful and accessible forms of social exercise and when done in a supportive and accepting environment correlates with numerous positive effects on both physical and psychological well-being.
With your support we estimate we could reach 150-¬‐200 individuals offering them the same benefits as our pilot. 47 individuals completed an anonymous survey after attending one of the four short courses run over a four month period. The results included the following:
100% agreed that Irreverent Dance is a body-positive space.
100% agreed that Irreverent Dance is LGBTQ friendly.
100% agreed that Irreverent Dance was accessible for complete beginners.
100% said our Motives/Ideology were Good/Excellent
100% rated the Atmosphere of class Good/Excellent
100% thought Irreverent Dance was Good/Excellent Value for Money
98% rated the Inclusivity of class Good/Excellent
98% rated the Quality of Teaching of class Good/Excellent
81% reported one or more noticeable mental benefits of attending Irreverent Dance
78% reported one or more noticeable physical benefits of attending
55% reported noticeable improvements in social life
What is your solution?
Irreverent Dance will offer affordable, (and where necessary, subsidized), 8 week dance courses throughout the year aimed towards young adults of minority sexuality and/or gender identifications.
Each group meets weekly for class and regularly gets together for a varied programme of social opportunities with other LGBTQ young adults, including the opportunity to work towards a supportive performance opportunity at the end of the year.
How will you deliver this?
Irreverent Dance offers a series of dance classes taught by an IDTA qualified teacher and adapted from approved IDTA syllabus to suit adults who have never danced before, or not danced since childhood. Special consideration has been taken in adapting the syllabus to remove unnecessary gender roles or uniform restrictions, to operate from spaces with exclusive use of gender-free changing areas, and to allow for the unique set of physical characteristics / conditions transgendered individuals may be experiencing.
Psychologically, it is a positive and encouraging space where individuals feel safe, know the above considerations have been made for them, and are free to exercise without fear or judgment. For some individuals, exploring dance is a powerful vehicle to exploring and accepting their new or changing body, for others it is simply a chance to exercise and socialise in a diverse and welcoming environment.