WELCOME TO DANCE
The Dance Department aims to provide students with a dance education that will allow them to be creative within their choreography as well as improve their performance, appreciation/ evaluation skills. Participating in Dance at school also provides and helps to develop key skills (for example co-operation, decision-making and leadership) which will help students throughout their life. It also increases individual self-confidence and self-esteem. We aim to provide a curriculum which is also interesting and fun!
“Dance is vital, an activity both exhilarating and liberating to watch or do. The instinct to dance is fundamentally joyous and no matter how hard you try you can’t get away from that for long. It can also be a huge force for good, effectively drawing people together and levelling everyone through sheer hard work. It can speed up your heart rate, it can enliven your being, it can change your life”. (Richard Alston CBE – quote taken form the AQA GCSE Dance Specification)
Key stage 3
Dance is taught to all students in Year 7 and is an option subject in Years 8 and 9. Students learn a variety of topics that assist them in social communication skills, working within small groups and larger ones as well as providing personal, learning and thinking skills throughout. This is achieved through creating an environment where students are able to creatively produce work and in turn be able to appreciate the work of their peers. We pride ourselves in being able to personalise dance so that all students are able to access and achieve.
The KS3 Curriculum for the 2015/ 16 academic year is;
- Introduction to Dance – Basic Actions
- ‘Still Life at the Penguin Café’
- ‘Ghost Dances’
- ‘The Car Man’
- Yin and Yang
- Street Dance
- ‘West Side Story’
- Own Choreography Project
- Contact Work – linked with Motionhouse Dance Theatre
- Motifs into Compositions
- Choreographic Project
Key stage 4
At KS4, students study GCSE Dance. During the course students;
- Learn many new dance skills
- Compose solo, duet and group dances
- Perform extracts of professional dances
- Have the opportunity to perform to various audiences
- Attend specialist workshops led by professional dancers
- Have the opportunity to watch live performances by professional dance companies
- Study professional dance works both practically and theoretically
- Develop appreciation and evaluation skills
The GCSE course provides progression from Key Stage 3 and provides a strong foundation for progression to Level 3 courses in dance and performing arts such as A Level and BTEC. The assessment comprises of three areas: Choreography, Performance and Appreciation. Students complete mock assessments throughout Year 10 & 11 but the main assessments are in March of Year 11.
Students have to fulfil three assessment components
1.Performance – worth 30% of GCSE – practical examination
- Performance of solo – created using set phrases from AQA.
- Performance of a duo/trio
2.Choreography – worth 30% of GCSE – practical examination
- Creation of a solo or group piece based on a selection of starting points assigned by AQA.
3.Dance Appreciation – worth 40% of GCSE – written examination
Written exam assessing your knowledge and understanding of:
- Choreographic process and performance skills
- Critical appreciation of your own work
- Critical appreciation of 8 professional dance works
Key Stage 5
At KS5, students take their dance training to the next level of education through studying AS and A Level dance. Using KS3 and KS4 as a foundation for their learning, the students build upon this so that they have the best possible opportunity to be able to not only succeed on this course but to pursue dance within higher education or to transfer these skills to that of the workplace.
Students learn in a modern, state of the art studio, providing the best possible environment for their education. Lessons are interactive, topical and above all personalised to ensure that all students are able to succeed whatever level they are.
Through both practical and theoretical lessons, you will explore a range of dance techniques, choreograph works and analyse professional works. The course is a 50% practical, 50% theory split. Examinations take place at the end of Year 12:
- Choreography and Performance of a solo
- Performance in a duo/trio
You will study the set area of study: Rambert Dance Company and explore a range of professional works by practitioners such as: Richard Alston, Christopher Bruce, Siobhan Davies and Glen Tetley.
You will also study a second area of study: The Independent Contemporary Dance Scene in Britain. You will explore how the Dance scene here in the UK has shifted since 2000 and explore works by practitioners such as: Matthew Bourne, Akram Khan, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and Jasmin Vardimon.
During the A2 course, you further your theoretical understanding of the areas of study and explore two set professional dance works. Your practical work is underpinned by the theory, as you perform in the style of the practitioners studied, as well as choreographing your own work. The course is again a 50% practical, 50% theory split.
- Solo performance in the style of studied practitioner
- Performance in a quartet
- Group Choreography
You will continue your exploration of ‘Rambert Dance Company’ and analyse the set work ‘Rooster’ by Christopher Bruce in detail.
You will continue your exploration of ‘The Independent Contemporary Dance Scene in Britain’ and analyse the set work ‘Sutra’ by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui in detail.
Skills gained and enrichment opportunities/trips/visits
Students have said that they like the fact that A Level Dance provides them with the opportunity to acquire experience of performance and choreography and engage in critical thinking about Dance. The course will allow you to develop your analytical, team work, independence, leadership and communication skills.
A Level Dance students are expected to attend all appropriate extra-curricular classes and will be expected to contribute to the annual Dance Performance Evening ‘Dance Fusion’. Students will be expected to actively participate in all theatre trips and dance workshops.
The course provides a strong foundation to;
Higher education, professional training, professional employment and may support opportunities as a Performer, Arts Administrator, Teacher, Community Dance Artist, Dance Critic, Dance Therapist, Choreographer, Arts Development Officer or Dance Physiotherapist.
Facilities & Resources
Key Stage 3 and 4 Dance is taught in two sprung floor studios which are well equipped with ICT and music facilities.
Key Stage 5 Dance is taught in a state of the art Dance studio in the 6th Form. The studio has a sprung floor and wall mirrors as well as ICT and music facilities.
Trips & Extra Curricular Activities
A variety of trips are frequently organised throughout the year to expose students to a variety of dance and professional performances.
Mrs K Roper (Head of Dance)
Miss R Barrett (Dance Teacher)