East London Girls Dance

Sweaty Betty Foundation & London Sport partner on a new dance project to tackle inactivity amongst London’s teenage girls in Tower Hamlets.

From September 2023 to August 2024, female-led free dance sessions are being be offered to teenage girls in three different wards in Tower Hamlets, one of the most deprived boroughs in the city.  Akademi is leading the South Asian dance sessions for 11-14 year olds as part of the project at Spotlight. Sadler’s Wells is also conducting dance sessions for the young girls.

Currently, less than half of teenage girls in Tower Hamlets are achieving the recommended levels of physical activity, and therefore not reaping the physical, mental, social and even academic benefits that an active life can bring. Recent data from Women in Sport’s Tackling Teenage Disengagement Report highlighted an alarming trend in disengagement from sport and exercise when girls transition from primary to secondary school, with a further dip at age 17-18. Some of the barriers highlighted included safety concerns, lack of female-only spaces, and lack of female-led delivery.  


  • Generate Insight: to better understand the needs of young girls and the barriers to activity.
  • Evidencing Impact: to demonstrate how the sessions have affected the participants and to use this evidence to create or scale up similar projects across the capital.
  • Catalyse Sustainability: to use this project to promote more opportunities for girls to be active.

The project will also be focusing on girls from diverse ethnic backgrounds where the gender activity gap is higher than for children from White backgrounds. For boys and girls from Black and Asian communities in particular, there is a large disparity in activity levels (approx. 10% difference). 

By addressing the key barriers to activity, the project hopes to transform local community spaces into activity hubs providing difference dance types – including Afro Beats, Hip-Hop, Modern, and Bhangra-inspired genres – to support young women improve their relationship with physical activity and build an active habit for life.


To find out more about the project, please contact us at info@akademi.co.uk.

When & Where

Mondays, 5-6pm
Spotlight, 30 Hay Currie Street, London, E14 6GN

Artist leading the sessions

Aishani Ghosh

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