“Dancing with your feet is one thing, but dancing with the heart is another.” Anon
Dance is unique, and is one of the most physical of all the art forms. Not only does dance allow students to be creative and artistic, it allows students the opportunity to express themselves using the body as a medium.
Dance is a well established and popular form of physical activity, particularly for young women. It can provide a supportive environment and an opportunity to enhance low body attitudes and physical self perception.
What we expect from our students
Students are to be open minded to creative tasks and ensure they are well organised for all lessons. Students will be encouraged to take creative risks, experimenting with their own ideas and embrace the different styles of dance being explored in the lessons. Students will work within a positive learning environment and students are expected to support each other, working effectively on their own and as part of a team. The dance departments will encourage students to use their initiative and work independently. There are opportunities for students to take part in performances, making a positive contribution to the life of the school.
Key Stage 3
Students in Year 7 will have the opportunity to engage in Dance through their PE curriculum, enrichment sessions and with extracurricular clubs. Dance is a fantastic way to make new friends, try out a new hobby and increase your fitness levels. In our last whole school Dance show we had over 200 students from Year 7 and Year 8 participating. Clubs range from contemporary, African, musical theatre and creative choreography.
Students in Year 8 will have the opportunity to engage in a two weekly program of dance, which is in addition to their PE lessons. The dance classes will be led by a specialist dance teacher and will focus on the following aspects:
Safe studio practice
This area of study will introduce students to the importance of developing their technical abilities and overall physical abilities, not just as dancers but benefiting future lifelong health. Students will develop an understanding of the benefits of leading a healthy life style, and develop and engage the whole body in Physical activity. Safe studio practice will enable students to create specialist warm up routines, develop strength, flexibility and stamina and increase co-ordination, self-esteem and confidence.
Students will be introduced to the history of dance and explore how the styles of dance’s have evolved over the years. Students will have the opportunity of participating in Ballet, African, Contemporary, Jazz and Musical Theatre, and Street Dance.
Choreography process and craft
Students will develop understanding of how to create a routine; they will be guided through the process of choreography and given the opportunity to be creative, imaginative and responsive to developing their own routines. The students will base their choreography’s on the professional work they are studying.
All students will be working towards a finale performance, where they will be assessed on their developments. The performance will take place at the school’s annual dance production called ‘One Night Only’ in March.
Students in Year 9 will have a fortnightly Dance lesson in addition to the opportunity to select different pathways within their PE lesson, and Dance is one of these pathways. This means that those who enjoy Dance and hope to pursue it at GCSE have lots of opportunities to challenge and extend their skills. We focus on contemporary technique but also bring variety to our classes through African, Jazz, Hip Hop and Latin influenced technique classes.
The Dance classes will be taught by a specialist Dance teacher and will focus on the following aspects:
Safe studio practice
This area of study will introduce students to the importance of developing their technical abilities and overall physical abilities, not just as dancers but benefiting future lifelong health. Students will develop an understanding of the benefits of leading a healthy life style, and develop and engage the whole body in physical activity. Safe studio practice will enable students to create specialist warm up routines, develop strength, flexibility and stamina and increase co-ordination, self-esteem and confidence.
Students will use professional dance work, which are studied at GCSE to help them develop performance and choreography ideas.
Choreography process and craft
Students will develop understanding of how to create a routine; they will be guided through the process of choreography and given the opportunity to be creative, imaginative and responsive to developing their own routines. The students will base their choreographies on the professional work they are studying. Students will work towards various performance opportunities, such as the return of our exciting annual dance show Mix Tape Volume 2.
Key Stage 4: GCSE Dance
Dance uses movement symbolically as a fundamental form of human expression. It is both empowering and powerful as a form of non-verbal communication. The intrinsic value of dance is the development of creative, imaginative, physical, emotional and intellectual capacities. Dance is both physical and expressive – this is what makes it similar to and different from other art forms and physical activities.
This qualification is linear. Linear means that students will sit all their exams and submit all their non-exam assessment at the end of the course.
Component 1: Performance and choreography
- Set phrases through a solo performance (approximately one minute in duration)
- Duet/trio performance (three minutes in a dance which is a maximum of five minutes in duration)
- Solo or group choreography – a solo (two to two and a half minutes) or a group dance for two to five dancers (three to three and a half minutes)
How it's assessed
- Internally marked and externally moderated
- Performance 30% of GCSE 40 marks
- Choreography 30% of GCSE 40 marks
- Total component 60%
- Non-exam assessment (NEA) marked by the centre and moderated by AQA
Component 2: Dance appreciation
- Knowledge and understanding of choreographic processes and performing skills
- Critical appreciation of own work
- Critical appreciation of professional works
How it's assessed
- 40% of GCSE
- Written exam: 1 hour 30 minutes 80 marks
Based on students' own practice in performance and choreography and the GCSE Dance Anthology.
Critical appreciation of professional set works
The GCSE Dance Anthology provides the focus for learning how to critically appreciate professional set works. The anthology contains the following professional set works:
|Dance work||Dance company||Choreographer|
|Artificial Things||Stopgam Dance Company||Lucy Bennett|
|A linha Curva||Rambert Dance Company||Itzik Galili|
|Infra||The Royal Ballet||Wayne McGregor|
|Shadows||Phoenix Dance Theatre||Christopher Bruce|
|Within Her Eyes||James Cousins Company||James Cousins|
|Emancipation of Expression||Boy Blue Entertainment||Kendrick H20 Sandy|
Students must study all six works in their entirety and be prepared to describe, analyse, interpret, evaluate and reflect on the works in response to short answer and extended writing questions.
The GCSE Dance Anthology, with details of all six professional works, including films of each performance and interviews with the choreographer or company associate, is available at
Students must know and understand the defining characteristics of each set professional work.
Key Stage 5: A Level Dance
Description of Course
A-Level Dance is a dynamic qualification which encourages students to develop their creative and intellectual capacity, alongside transferable skills such as team work, communication and problem solving. All of these are sought after skills by both higher education and employers, helping students to stand out in the workplace whatever their choice of career.
This specification reflects both historical and current dance practices and inspires a lifelong passion and appreciation for dance. We recognise the ever changing dance world and therefore provide training in a wide range of contemporary dance techniques, including Graham, Cunningham, Horton and Release. Choreography examination tasks are set to encourage student exploration of a vast array of topics and promote the skills of research and development in order to create imaginative and engaging works.
A-Level Dance has both practical and theoretical examinations. Theory exam questions take on variety of forms, including short questions and extended writing. Topics covered include the historical study of Rambert, the iconic work Rooster by Christopher Bruce, the Independent British Dance scene and work by Matthew Bourne and Akram Khan.
The A-Level Dance specification requires students to develop, demonstrate and articulate practical and theoretical knowledge, understanding and experience of:
- Technical and performance skills
- The process and art of choreography
- The interrelationship between the creation, presentation and viewing/appreciation of dance works
- The development of dance placed within an artistic and cultural context
- Professional dance works and the significance of these works
- Subject specific terminology and its use.
Component 1: Performance and Choreography: Assessed in the Spring of Year 13
What's assessed? ïÂ·
- Solo performance linked to a specified practitioner within an area of study
- Performance in a quartet
- Group choreography
How it's assessed ·
- Practical exam : 80 marks : 50% of A Level
Component 2 Critical engagement: Assessed in the Summer of Year 13
- Knowledge, understanding and critical appreciation of two sets of works
- One compulsory set work within the compulsory area of study
- One optional set work within the corresponding area of study, from a choice of four.
How it's assessed
Written exam: 2 hours 30 minutes : 100 marks : 50% of A-Level
The course demands a high level of commitment, concentration and sensitivity. You need to be able to evaluate and appreciate past and current professional works. An ability to reflect and evaluate the complexity and significance of both content and process is essential. Full commitment to additional hours of learning such as lunchtime and after school rehearsals is also required.
Ideally you should have studied Dance at GCSE and obtained at least Grade 6. Grade 6 in English GCSE is also advisable due to the demands of the written components. It is possible that you could be considered without a GCSE in Dance, but in this case you would need to be able to demonstrate an aptitude for the subject and understand fully the demands of the course.
Contact Name: MRS Katie White (Head of Dance)
Educational Progression and Career Opportunity
Dance A-Level is suitable for anyone wanting to pursue the arts or dance in higher education, or as support for any course requiring good communication and group work skills. In addition to performing, choreography and teaching this course could lead to such diverse careers as physiotherapy, nursing and journalism.
Many of our students are successful graduates on Dance degree courses at universities such as Chichester, Middlesex, Roehampton, Surrey and Winchester. Other students have opted to pursue vocational training at conservatoires such as Trinity Laban and the London Studio Centre and hope to pursue careers as professional dancers.
Note: Auditioning is a requirement for this course, you will be asked to complete a contemporary dance workshop including choreographic tasks set by the teacher.
Key Stage 5: BTEC Peforming Arts
Level of Study:
- Level 3 National Diploma 8 Units
- (equivalent to 2 A-Levels) 6 mandatory and 2 optional units
Description of Course
Studying Performing Arts offers a variety of skills to students who have a genuine interest in areas of Drama, Dance, Music and/or theatre production. With an emphasis on practical skills and explorative work, the course is tailored to the strengths, skills and interests of its cohort, incorporating a variety of performance / production elements with the academic and theoretical components. You will complete a range of units, some of which you will choose yourself. There will be the opportunity to focus on Acting, Dance, Musical Theatre or a mix of all three.
The units you must take are: ï·
- Investigating Practitioners’ Work ï·
- Developing Skills and Techniques for Live Performance ï·
- Group Performance Workshop ï·
- Performing Arts in the Community ï·
- Individual Performance Commission ï·
- Final Live Performance to an Audience
In addition, the wide range of optional units you can choose from include: Physical Theatre, Contemporary Dance, Acting Styles, Interpreting Classical Text, Singing Techniques for Performance, Healthy Dancer, Site Specific Performance, Improvisation as well as many others. You will need to be organised and keep a portfolio of your assignments, which you will be assessed on. Key transferable skills which the course will nurture include: team work, communications skills, self-confidence, presentation skills, evaluation and interpretation of texts, creativity and self-discipline.
Skills Required and Explored
- A genuine interest in Dance, Drama, Musical Theatre and the performing arts in general ï·
- The ability to work autonomously in and out of lessons
- The ability to work with others, set challenges and identify opportunities
- A willingness to spend extra time researching, rehearsing and going to see a range of different performance skills, outside of lessons
- A creative imagination so that work can be interpreted and justified
Two Drama studios with blackout facilities and lighting rigs and a Dance studio ï· An outstanding team of performing arts teachers with skills in many areas and industry experience
Compulsory trips are run throughout the course to see a range of exciting work from ‘Scratch’ performances of emerging devised work by young companies to performances at the National Theatre and in the West End. We also hold a weekend residential at a centre in West Sussex. On this trip you will work with professional practitioners and create new work based on your own interests and skills.
We try to keep the costs for all trips as low as possible and are committed to taking advantage of special schemes and school offers.
Over the years many of our post-16 students have attended workshops and auditions for related degrees and Drama schools. Several past students are LAMDA, Guildhall and Royal Central School of Speech and Drama graduates and some are now working professionally in the field. Many are currently studying degrees in related subjects at university. In Y13 we offer support to students as they embark on the audition process and work closely with them throughout the UCAS process.
At least 5 GCSE passes at level 4 or above including English, Maths and Drama or Dance; if this does not include both English and Mathematics, you must enrol on the relevant GCSE retake course.
Method of Assessment
A variety of assessment methods are used including practical performances, writing up research findings, demonstration of practical and technical skills and other set tasks which involve the exploration of the industry. The assignments will be based on realistic scenarios for learners to apply their knowledge and make maximum use of practical activities. Some units are centre assessed, whilst some are examined externally.
Educational Progression and Career Opportunities
Creative and Arts industries contribute £71.4 billion to the British economy and account for approximately 5.6% of jobs in the UK. Potential career paths include: performing, arts education, working in Media, events planning, marketing, and advertising. Students will finish the course with a clear understanding of the skills needed to earn success within the performing arts. For example, in Unit 6: Final Live Performance to an Audience , learners will gain understanding and experience of rehearsal methods and techniques. Through research and practical exploration, learners will develop the necessary skills to interpret performance material and develop a character or role for a live performance. The Learners will acquire transferable skills, such as personal management and collaborative skills, which are necessary when working in a performing arts ensemble.
In addition to the performing arts sector-specific content, this qualification provides learners with the opportunity to develop all-round performance skills and transferable skills such as self-confidence, self presentation, personal discipline, time management and organisational skills which are highly regarded by higher education and employers.
The BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Performing Arts will allow you to: -
- Take a degree or foundation course in a related Performing Arts subject
- Enter into industry employment
- Go on to further training at a Drama or Dance school