Day 80- Farrah, 15, Newport-On-Tay

Farrah is Home Educated, but has just applied to do an NC in Contemporary Dance Performance at the Scottish School of Contemporary Dance in Dundee to begin in September 2018. She really enjoys voluntary work and is the Young Creative Learning Assistant with Dundee Rep, assistaing a performance group for adults with additional support needs. Farrah is also a volunteer dance support worker for Scottish Dance Theatre’s Saturday morning children’s classes with choreographer Guilia Montalbano.

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Which young Scot inspires you?
I’m not sure I’d tell her in real life, but the young Scot that inspires me most is actually my older sister Zakia. We grew up home educated together, and spent lots of time playing music, learning stuff and generally having fun. When she was 16 she got a scholarship to go and study music composition in the south of England, meaning she had to move away from our family and stay at boarding school. I know it was really tough on her, as she missed us tons, plus she suddenly had to deal with exams and things, and she’d often get sick with her asthma. I think her determination and perseverance to succeed inspires me to try hard and push myself as far as possible.

What is the best thing about growing up in Scotland?
I love growing up in Scotland because I feel like the arts scene is vibrant and alive! Living in Dundee, I get to go to great places such as the DCA (Dundee contemporary arts) and Dundee REP. This means that there has always been plenty of classes in all the different arts that I was interested in; such as contemporary art, dance, drama, film clubs and music. Since I was three years old I’ve attended classes at both at Dundee Rep for Drama and Dance with Scottish Dance Theatre. Without these I would never have been able to have such a deep experience of the things I now know I want to do with later life.

What would you most like people from older generations to know about young people?
I would want older generations to know about all the amazing opportunities that this generation of young people have in Scotland, but also that we have to work for those opportunities. Nothing comes for free or without hard work, even if we do have social media and phones! It’s important to share this message because I think young people are often grouped together and then perceived as lazy and like everything is handed to them on a plate, but this is only true in certain cases, just like everything in life.

What is your biggest achievement to date?
I think my biggest achievement would be finding the courage to go to my first yoga class at Heart Space Yoga 7 months ago. I was quite worried, because I had never done anything like Yoga before and had no idea what it was going to be like, but as soon as I got there everything changed. I instantly fell in love with how it made not just my body, but my mind feel better too. It was like nothing I’d ever done before! After every single class, I’d feel this great sense of achieving something that day. I felt more calm and less crampy in my body. My flexibility (which before I went to Yoga was very poor) greatly improved and I started seeing the results of my practise almost straight away. As a result of this, Finlay Wilson (my yoga teacher and co-founder of Heartspace) started sponsoring me and let’s me attend my classes for free! It really feels like all the hard work and effort I put in paid off, and I couldn’t be more happy!

What would you most like to achieve in the future?
What I’d like to achieve most in the future is to become both a professional contemporary dancer working for a touring company and to be fully trained as a Forrest Yoga teacher. It’s really important to me because I think the two roles work hand in hand for life long health, strength and creativity. I want to learn these skills to the highest possible level of my ability, so that I can share them with others and continue the cycle of learning.

What message would you like to give to other young people in Scotland?
The advice I would give to other young people growing up in Scotland is, experience as much as possible, even if it makes you terrified to try new things! If you keep trying you’ll eventually find something you love – and when you do, stick with it and ask for help from organisations so that you can do it more! When you have an activity or subject or interest you are passionate about, it just makes everything worthwhile and it makes you want to share it with other people!

If Farrah’s story has inspired you, why not share it on social media using the hashtag #MyStory365 or visit the ‘Get Involved’ section to share your own story!

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