Media Release: The Big Dance Pledge

Thousands of people across Scotland to join in mass, participatory dance as part of global event

64,000 people; 500 locations; 24 countries

Follow the action at @GetDancin and @bigdancenews

HUNDREDS of people will burst into dance in one of the Scottish capital’s most iconic locations, The Mound Precinct, at 1pm today (Friday 16 May), joining thousands of fellow participants across Scotland and the world taking part in a simultaneous global event which will see mass, participatory dances take place in
24 countries.

The Big Dance Pledge has brought together people of all ages and all walks of life, to learn and perform in unison, a colourful and fun, specially choreographed piece of dance by Scotland’s national dance company, Scottish Ballet.

Two simultaneous performances at either 1pm or 7pm local time in each country will see more than 64,000 participants in over 500 locations become part of a unique wave of dancing across the world. This includes 240 groups in Scotland.

In Scotland, the Big Dance Pledge is part of Get Scotland Dancing – the national initiative to inspire more people to get active and participate in dance and provide an unprecedented range of opportunities to take part in and enjoy dance – and the Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme.


At the sound of the One ‘o’ Clock gun, in an event organised by Dance Base, up to 300 people including school children, community and dance class groups and drivers from the city’s Central Taxis, will burst into dance on The Mound. The event will provide an unexpected treat for shoppers, workers on their lunchbreaks and tourists. Famous across the world, the location most recently featured in the closing scene from hit movie Sunshine on Leith 


In July, Glasgow’s Emirates Arena will be at the heart of the sporting action for the XX Commonwealth Games. Today around 350 people -  ranging from toddlers with their parents to over 60s who take part in classes at Dance HouseGlasgow – will be filling this fantastic sporting arena with energy through movement.  Two local schools are among those also holding dances, with 500 pupils joining in at Alexandra Park Primary School while the playground of Balornock Primary will act as the stage for a day for all 320 of the school’s pupils to dance.


The Cross in front of Linthligow Palace will be the setting for one of the biggest dances in Scotland when around 750 pupils from primary, secondary schools and a Donaldson’s school for hearing impaired pupils will perform. They’re among the incredible 2,000 school children from Linthilgow who will be taking part in The Big Dance Pledge.

Skye Bridge

One of the most picturesque settings for the dance will be the Skye Bridge when 250 people from Skye Dance, aged from 1-91 years will perform their Pledge.


There’ll be more great scenes in the plagrgoud, at the Walker Road school in Aberdeen when all 150 pupils dance. Elsewhere in the city, 200 Primary 7 and 6 pupils and their teachers will be dancing at Transition Extreme in Aberdeen. The Step Forward group for people with and without learning and physical disabilities will also be performing the Pledge at the CityMoves Studio.

Inverness, Stirling and Dundee

At Eden Court, hip hop meets flashmob, when the venue hosts a Big Dance Pledge before their Breakin’ Convention performance. While Students and staff from macrobert and the University of Stirling will be joining in the fun on campus, and in Dundee the action will be centered on the city’s Tay Square at 7pm.

The six regional Dance Hubs – Citymoves, Dance Base, Dance House Glasgow, Dundee Dance Partnership, Eden Court, and macrobert – are leading the activity in their areas.


200 dancers led by English National Ballet will stop shoppers in their tracks at Westfield Shopping City, Shepherd’s Bush, London.

Dancers from Sadler’s Wells’ renowned Company of Elders will perform at the venue followed by local community and Scottish Ballet professional dancers who will provide the prelude to an evening performace of Romeo and Juliet with a foyer performance of the Pledge.


In Merthyr Tydfil local community teacher Jen Angharad is bringing together 400 people from the local area to perform in a converted rail engine shed.


In Parliament Square, Lebanon 1,000 school children will come together from in and around the capital for their Big Dance Pledge.


The Kolej Datu Patinggi Abang Haji Abdillah school in Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia have created their Pledge performance for a surprise flashmob in the city.


Seven Brazilian schools and colleges with students aged between 6-18 years are performing in their schools grounds in preparation for Big Dance as part of the Rio 2016 Cultural Olympiad.

The dance, which was choreographed by Lorraine Jamieson, creative associate at Scottish Ballet, showcases a variety of dance styles including Highland, Bhangra, and freestyle and has been created to be easy and fun to perform no matter the age or ability of participants. People taking part have also been encouraged to create their own dance inspired by Lorraine’s choreography. 

The Get Scotland Dancing campaign is supported through National Lottery funding, and activity in 2014 is part of the Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme.

Worldwide, the Big Dance Pledge is led by the Foundation for Community Dance and the Mayor of London as part of the biennial Big Dance programme.

Dancing is healthy, as well as being sociable and fun. People who participate in dance are 62 per cent more likely to report better health than those who don’t according to a recent Scottish Government Household survey. The 2009 survey commented that “dance as a sporting activity is more popular than football”.

Chris Stenton, executive director, Foundation for Community Dancesaid: “This year’s Big Dance Pledge has really captured people’s imagination worldwide. It’s a great way for people of all ages to get involved with dance, whether that’s learning the routine or creating their own dance inspired by the Pledge, and join in with the celebrations for Glasgow 2014.”

Catherine Cassidy, Associate Director (Education) at Scottish Ballet said: “The Big Dance Pledge has been a wonderful way for Scottish Ballet to engage with thousands of people across the world. We wanted to create a lively, exciting dance which used percussion and dynamic movements to get people moving and having fun together. ”

Get Scotland Dancing project manager, James Allenby, said: “As the first major event of the Get Scotland Dancing programme, we hope to show the world that dance is creative, healthy and fun. What better way to be inspired and challenged than to join thousands of others around the world in this wonderful huge dance. We’re delighted that so many groups in Scotland will be performing the Pledge today.”

The countries where dances are taking place are: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Canada, Cyprus, Engand, Germany, Greece, India, Italy, Lebanon, Malaysia, Ivory Coast, Northern Ireland, Pakistan, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Scotland, Spain, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Ukraine, United States of America, Vietnam and Wales.


Notes to Editors

To find out more visit:

  1. The Get Scotland Dancing initiative aims to encourage more people to get active and participate in dance. The 2014 Commonwealth Games provides an unparalleled opportunity to raise the profile of dance as a creative, participative and physical artform. In support of this Scottish Government policy, Creative Scotland has committed £1.5 million across a four-year period towards the creation of this inclusive celebration of dance across Scotland.
  2.  For more information on Get Scotland Dancing and how you can get involved, visit Follow @GetDancin and
  3.  The Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme is a national celebration. Culture 2014 is showcasing dance, theatre, music, visual arts, comedy and much more in the run up to and after the Commonwealth Games, with Festival 2014 transforming the Host City at Games time. The Cultural Programme is a partnership between the Glasgow 2014 Organising Committee, Glasgow Life, and Creative Scotland through National Lottery funding.
  4. Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland on behalf of everyone who lives, works or visits here.  We enable people and organisations to work in and experience the arts, screen and creative industries in Scotland by helping others to develop great ideas and bring them to life.  We distribute funding provided by the Scottish Government and the National Lottery. For further information about Creative Scotland please visit  Follow us @creativescots and

Media Contact

Brian Maycock
Interim Media Relations and PR Officer, Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme


T: 0330 333 2000

D: 0131 523 0046

M: 07972 835 212

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Contact: Brian Maycock
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