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HerCanberra Team

The statistics on bullying and suicide are alarming.

According to statistics reported by ABC News*, nearly 30 percent of students are either bullies or victims of bullying, and 160,000 kids stay home from school every day due to fear of bullying.

Bully victims are between two to nine times more likely to consider suicide than non-victims, according to studies by Yale University*, while a study in Britain found that at least half of suicides among young people are related to bullying*.

It’s a situation that is only getting worse, thanks to the rise of social media, and it’s something that Julie Scheer, Director and Founder of local dance school, Dance Central, is determined to do something about. She’s spearheading the fight against bullying with a new campaign #goturback.

“#goturback was born in a moment,” says Julie.

“After our junior hip hop crew, DKC, placed second in Australia in Hip Hop International, we were reflecting on their success and discussing how fundamental our core values are in creating an amazing dynamic within a team.

“A week before our dance crews competed we brought in a high-level performance mindset coach, Angie Ford. One key aspect of her workshop was a ‘trusting and believing in each other’ exercise. An amazing thing happened in the room when crew members were asked to say to one another ‘I’ve got your back’.”

Julie says she witnessed a shift in attitude among the dancers. Before the crews went on stage they were reminding each other that they had each other’s backs.

“We said to ourselves, ‘if only all young people in the world could have this level of acceptance, support and love, the world would be a better place’…and #goturback was born.”

The #goturback campaign is aimed at 12-17 year olds—an age when there’s a lot going on and young people are searching for guidance and role models outside of their parents. They are unclear on their future career paths, struggling with pressure at home or socially, and all within an ‘always on with no relief’ social media landscape.

“Above all, a stand out issue is bullying” says Julie.

“It has a huge impact on families, I have seen many youth needing to change schools because of it, we have seen it lead into depression. Dance is all too often the only positive outlet a child has, and the only place they feel safe.”

Julie says dance teaches teens so much more than dancing: core values like team work, self-respect, mindfulness, self-awareness and treating others how you would like to be treated.

“We want to influence and empower a new generation. #goturback is dedicated to those who have been targets of bullying or those who have committed acts of bullying—whether at school, at home or work. It affects many of us at different times in our life.”

“We want to begin a ripple effect of change by empowering individuals with a mindset that focusses on self-awareness through the art of reaching out and supporting others. We believe that ‘treating others how you would like to be treated’ is at the core of having another person’s back.”

Dance Central are planning an ambitious program for #goturback: workshops and talks with key speakers, new B2B partnerships, integrated education campaigns, and adult and youth ambassadors.

#goturback will be launched at a secret location this Saturday 17 June with a High Tea event. You can purchase your tickets for the High Tea launch and Be-You-Tiful workshop by visiting the Dance Central website.

* Susan Donaldson James, ABC News, Health, “Teen Commits Suicide Due to Bullying: Parents Sue School for Son’s Death.” 
* Yale University, Office of Public Affairs, “Bullying-Suicide Link Explored in New Study by Researchers at Yale

Her Canberra

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