The project aims to promote traditional dance and music to the younger generation considering both communities cultural backgrounds. They are taught to value the importance of dance music thus enabling them to dance to live music and explore the link of traditional music in both traditions. The project involves a group of dancers and musicians namely 'All-Set'. All-Set bring together children from opposite traditions and encourage them to participate in a programme of living dance culture which has been associated with only one side of the community. The project runs for 10 weeks per term with 10 schools being invited each term i.e. 30 schools per year, 15 maintained and 15 controlled.
Schools are visited individually during the first 6 weeks while during the last four weeks partner schools complete the programme as a joint venture. The pupils are taught 2 hard and set dances of Scottish and Irish Origin as well as tunes on the tin whistle associated with dances and games familiar to the school playground. When schools come together trust games and historical information are introduced and presented in an enjoyable and informal manner with children being encouraged to find out names and common interests as well as differences of their dancing partners.
PSEPII funds are used to present the programme i.e. tutors costs,
running costs, enabling the project to have 3-4 tutors with the
children. A high interactive programme such as this requires
a lot of supervision and encouragement which PSEPII funding helps
to provide and maintain. Pupils have benefited by overcoming
initial apprehensions and inhibitions i.e. physical contact between
boys and girls. New and enjoyable contact was formed between
children from opposite backgrounds whilst sharing their common
cultural heritage of dance and music. Many pupils had never experienced
live music and are now able to play a few tunes on the tin whistle
with many schools encouraging them to continue after the project
has been completed.