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The DUG Model

Our model

The dance workshop model was developed in 1997–1999 by Ove Henning Solheim in the municipality of Rygge. The municipality participated in the national project "Culture promotes good health" (1997-1999) with the dance project aimed at children and young people.

The aims of the dance workshop model:

  • Engaging with young people who are not involved with other activities
  • Being an inclusive activity, both economically and socially speaking
  • Creating new passionate volunteers
  • Letting young people have responsibility in their own local environment where they will become a resource for their local society
  • Providing young people with the skills they need to run the activity for other children and young people
  • Letting young people have a real influence, and letting them actively participate in decisions that affect their own day-to-day lives and the activities offered to them by the municipality
  • Creating new arenas and platforms
  • Focusing on the ability to cope, and promoting individual creativity
  • Network building
  • Increasing the level of reflection and awareness of the young people regarding their own choices and values
  • Integration of people from other cultures
  • Family participation
  • New meeting places
  • Focusing on young people as a resource
  • Operating as a preventative initiative for substance abuse and criminality
  • Reusable workshops — so that the workshops do not stagnate or close after the first qualified group is finished
  • Being a preventative measure regarding mental and physical health

The model applies a methodology of youth-to-youth tutoring, where young people are trained to teach dance to other children and young people. DUG, as the model was later called, has shown itself to have great appeal to both children and young people.

The dance workshop is a positive recreational activity that works well and gives very many young people belief in themselves. Solidarity and caring for others is a major part of the model as the young people have to take personal responsibility for their students and the running of the activities. In Sogn and Fjordane, the young people have come up with the motto “A place for everybody”. They live up to this motto by inviting everyone to be participants and students.

The dance workshop can therefore work as a social equal opportunities measure for children and youth groups.
We know that young people can act as good role models. Great importance will be attached to this role both during the training and in the job they do as instructors. In addition to instructing students, the dance workshop is also run by the young people themselves. They don’t receive payment for the job they do, but they get to learn a wide range of dancing skills and what is necessary to be able to run a recreational activity.

The largest municipalities have added youth leaders to the cultural department as adult contact persons, while several smaller municipalities have incorporated the dance workshop into culture schools where monitoring is carried out by the headmaster. In some municipalities, the public health coordinator has the monitoring responsibility. Experience shows that the dance workshops appeal to young people who do not participate in other organised activities.

The dance workshop, modelled in 5 phases

Phase 1:
Start-up and strategy.

Phase 2:
Providing young people with qualifications — instructors within various dance genres

Phase 3:
How to develop choreography and work as an instructor
Warming up, stretching programs and health and safety

Phase 4:
Attitude questions/ courses
Establishing/preparing and opening the dance workshop

Phase 5:
Summary and evaluation.

This is the short version of the dance workshop training.
The total program contains more extensive elements.