Case Studies

2015 International Award Winner - Virgin Trains & YDance

Project story 

Glasgow 2014 provided the catalyst for YDance to create the first ever Commonwealth Youth Dance Festival with their principal sponsor Virgin Trains.  Both YDance and Virgin Trains focused on bringing 450 young people from all across the Commonwealth to Glasgow in style. 

The CYDF brought together over 400 dancers from 11 Commonwealth countries for four days of performances, workshops and masterclasses at Tramway. The festival marked the first time that YDance had hosted a major international project, and also their first major corporate partnership.

The principal aim of the partnership for YDance was to raise the profile of youth dance across the UK and internationally, through association with a prominent leading brand in the travel sector. Virgin Trains’ aim was to connect with the wider Glasgow 2014 programme and to promote their London to Glasgow service in the run up to the Commonwealth Games and the Ryder Cup.  The partnership focused on the ability of the sponsor to provide real added value to the Festival, and on YDance’s ability to raise the profile of the Virgin Trains London to Glasgow route at a crucial time during 2014. Through in kind support, 220 young dancers and their group leaders benefitted from complimentary return travel between London and Glasgow, which meant that many UK groups were able to bring more young people to the Festival than they had previously been able to afford, increasing the numbers benefiting from taking part. Several international groups flew into London instead of Glasgow and made tremendous savings on travel costs.

The relationship between YDance and Virgin Trains launched CYDF in tremendous style. Contact is continuing, and the partnership and project has left a lasting legacy, not only by increasing YDance’s experience in presenting a clear business case when seeking corporate support, but also in a number of new opportunities:

  • Through the success and profile of CYDF, YDance has been chosen by as the official dance provider for World Gymnastics Championships which take place in Glasgow in October 2015.
  • YDance was selected as a finalist in the Scottish Charity of the Year Awards in 2015
  • Connections from CYDF are creating more opportunities for young dancers from Scotland to perform internationally and to act as cultural ambassadors , for example, the National Youth Dance Company of Scotland has been invited to perform at the Ausdance Festival in Melbourne, Australia and the Jomba Festival, Durban, South Africa in 2016

Arts/cultural organisation story

Taking part in U.Dance Festival for London 2012 Cultural Olympiad inspired YDance to create an international festival for Glasgow 2014. CYDF was a great success and to quote from The Scotsman - “ultimately this was a festival with no weak links – just a perfect illustration of the power of youthful creativity”.

The partnership with Virgin Trains raised the YDance profile at home and internationally. Having Virgin Trains on board made the ‘ask’ easier, attracting cash and in kind support from: Highland Spring, British Harlequin, STV, Tunnocks, Network Rail and others as a result.

Key personnel within YDance gained significant new skills through this relationship and have benefitted from a shift in focus - looking from the outside perspective. They have also forged a strong relationship with Glasgow Life and were chosen as ‘Official Dance Provider’ for the World Gymnastics Championships 2015, performing with gymnasts Louis Smith and Beth Tweddle to promote the championships. Through increased international dance networks, YDance received invitations to perform internationally and plan to attend this year’s Ausdance Youth Festival, Melbourne and Jomba Festival, Durban. These opportunities to promote Scottish talent at home and abroad is a fitting legacy for CYDF, gaining a great deal of credibility and profile from the association with Virgin Trains.

Business organisation story

When YDance first contacted Virgin Trains they were very positive about the potential benefits through a partnership supporting the first Commonwealth Youth Dance Festival. 

Virgin Trains gained profile in the media and community in Glasgow through their association with the event and the company of young participants from across the UK and wider Commonwealth. Having hundreds of young dancers springing from Virgin trains in Glasgow, reflecting a bright and energetic association with Glasgow 2014, gave a youthful, positive image of their operation, focussing particularly on the London – Glasgow route which brought the young dancers to the Festival. Having the official launch and the welcoming ceilidh event at Glasgow Central Station provided excellent opportunities for close association of the Virgin Trains brand with the CYDF.

Virgin Trains was extremely pleased to be associated with the success of the Festival which had three sold out performances at Tramway.  They were also delighted with the positive coverage in print media including the Daily Record, Metro and Evening Times and with the collateral from social media and You Tube videos.

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