SEALL has teamed-up with Atlas Arts to provide a weekly safe space for teenagers to hang out and be creative together.
Molly Scott Danter, who is a dancer, artist and storyteller originally from Edinbane, will be leading an art and dance club for Skye’s 14-17-year-olds.
In line with the Scottish Government’s Covid-19 guidance and legislation, the hang-outs will take place after school from Tuesday, 23 March online and, when permissible, in a range of venues in Portree: outdoors, at the Oyster Table in Bayfield, under canvas, on walks and in large indoor spaces. Molly will lead the weekly hang-out where teenagers can get together safely to create, make and converse.
Molly said: “You don’t need to have an interest in art, dance or music to take part. This is a creative space to hang out and chat. We’ll be meeting first online and then, when possible and safe to do so, meeting together in person in and around Portree in the weeks and months ahead.
“This club is a space to experiment, to make things up, to pretend and reinvent. We might use movement, writing, collage, dance parties, drawing and bookmaking, but it’s up to you. You decide what you’re interested in making, doing and talking about and, together, we’ll try and make it happen.”
Sessions take place every Tuesday after school and the first meeting is online via Zoom at 5pm. Anyone living on Skye or Raasay from the age group is invited to attend and find out more. During this initial meet-up, participants will be able to decide together on times and content of future hang-outs.
Molly, who is 25, found her love for dance when she joined SkyeDance while she was a pupil at Portree High School. After leaving school, she studied dance at London Contemporary Dance School, including a semester at Salzburg Experimental Academy of Dance. After graduating Molly worked with Scottish Dance Theatre first as an apprentice dancer then for a short time as guest dancer. Since then, she has worked as a freelance dancer, maker and teacher in the UK and Europe.
As well as dance, Molly also works with text and film and often collaborates with other artists of these and other media. Especially interested in the relationship of self and other, empathy plays a large role in how Molly approaches making, leading and performing work.
Molly expects these highly sociable hang-outs to be led by the participants. She said: “The first part of this idea was to focus on identity and practices around who we are. I realise now that, at school, I was stuck in a relatively rigid environment which was very outcome and product orientated. I was not really learning but memorising and not thinking about the process.
“I really believe creativity can be used as a tool for different forms of expression: for emotional health and wellbeing; the way we see the world; and get a better insight into our relationships with others and with ourselves.
“It is such a complicated time to be a teenager at the moment. Many are suffering from being locked in and missing out on the usual teenage experiences. I hope these meetings will be a release for some of that pressure.”
Molly says the emphasis will be on fun: “With this project, we may be making things all the time, have dance parties, have fun and explore. This is all about who we are, what we can do and what we can achieve together, side by side.
“I hope participants will go away with a sense of empowerment and believing in infinite possibilities of who they can be, what they can do and what this world will be like with them in it.”
The club will run for 21 weeks initially with the possibility of a further extension.
Membership is free and includes an activity pack which will be sent out to participants after sign-up. To register or for an informal chat with Molly to find out more, email firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday, 12 March.
The funding is part of a targeted fund from Creative Scotland’s Youth Arts Fund, organised by Dingwall-based Fèis Rois. This ambitious project will work across the nine Highland Council Community Planning Partnership areas to support the recovery of youth arts provision in the region as Covid-19 restrictions begin to lift.