Tuesday, October 12, 1999 Published at 12:02 GMT 13:02 UK
Tap dancing boosts results
Dance can give pupils a focus for their energy
More National Lottery money could be used to fund sports and arts schemes in an effort to give new hope to young people in deprived areas.
Mr Smith made the proposal in a speech to a social inclusion conference in Coventry.
"Experience from across the country shows that involving people in sporting and cultural activities can help cut crime, as well as improve health, education and employment prospects in deprived communities.
"This programme will provide people across the country with sporting and cultural opportunities they would not otherwise have, and they, and our society can only benefit as a result," he said.
On the Temple Lodge Estate in Swinton, near Salford, a community football scheme coincided with a drop in offences by youths from 44 a month to six.
In Bristol, the Hartcliffe Boys Dance Company has performed to school and public audiences in France, Germany and Belgium as well as at home.
For the first time boys' GCSE results from the area improved until they were better than the girls, against the national trend.
Hartcliffe is an area of Bristol with long-term unemployment and high levels of crime and poverty.
Year 10 pupil David Harris said: "I now have a lot more confidence standing up and speaking in class and in groups."
It has also taught him about discipline and responsibility.
"Rehearsing can be difficult sometimes when you have been doing the same thing over and over again, but you get used to doing it - and that reflects in your school work as well," he said.
"And other activities - we've got a lot coming back to do chess - whereas before they would just have been hanging around the streets kicking a ball or looking for trouble."
Mr Smith said the Arts and Sports Councils would be asked to target deprived areas with Lottery money as part of their strategy, currently being drawn up. No specific sums of money are being mentioned at this stage.