Student-led Social Initiative

The Girls Dance Movement

Categories: Education, Dance, Well-being

Group leader: Yasmine Messaikeh (Yale-NUS), Éloïse L’Her

The Girls Dance Movement is a social impact initiative that uses dance to build a safe space for young women in underprivileged communities.

About the project

The Girls Dance Movement programme comprised regular dance sessions in the genres of urban and contemporary, accompanied by a participant-led collaborative conceptualisation and execution of a final dance project. The pilot programme started with a group of 12 girls, and completed with 22 girls at a refugee camp in Lebanon.

Intention and impact

The Girls Dance Movement collaborated with young women in building space to safely engage in physical exercise and creative expression within their community. We utilised dance- and movement-focused exercises to encourage the development of body awareness and the sharing of stories, paving the way for a personal and shared physical and emotional journey for everyone in the programme.

How the Social Impact Fellowship (SIF) has supported this initiative

We would not have been able to develop an idea into a full-fledged pilot programme without constant guidance and support of our CIPE advisor throughout the planning stages. The SIF grant enabled us to fund the resources that were necessary to achieve the desired outcomes of the programme. Besides renting a space in Shatila to hold practice sessions, we were also able to provide each participant with a sports kit and snacks to facilitate their journey of learning and dancing.

Feedback from Participants of The Girls’ Dance Movement

I like dance because it is like a sport and it is beautiful and it is very beneficial. (top left, orange post-it)


At first I thought dance was hard, but when we practised it became easy and enjoyable.
(bottom left, yellow post-it)



Dance was, in my opinion, something very amazing and I have nothing bad to point out, quite the opposite, we had a lot of fun and I really really hope that we do the programme again. Thank you Yasmine and Éloïse!