Head of Department
Why study this course?
Dance will develop creativity, problem solving skills and project management. It will enable students to improve their confidence, technical dance ability and presentation skills, whilst also challenging them to learn to analyse professional dance works and increase their understanding of the history of dance over the past century.
Students studying this subject could progress onto careers as professional dancers, choreographers or dance teachers. In addition, they could continue with careers in the Arts, including marketing, project management or work within theatres or other live arts venues.
What level of prior knowledge, attainment and skills are required?
GCSE Dance at a Level 6 or above and/or it is expected that students should have prior dance experience or independent Dance qualifications (ISTD/IDTA/RAD etc) at a Grade 5, or equivalent, in either Modern, Jazz or Ballet.
The course would suit those students who wish to complement academic subjects with a creative course. It would also be suitable for those students wanting to pursue a profession in the Arts (either visual or live).
Dance would work well with a range of subjects, including English Literature, Music, Art, Drama, History, Media Studies, Sociology, Psychology and PE.
What does the course cover and how is it structured?
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.
How is the course assessed?
Assessment is made up of four key components linking to the three strands:
- Group Choreography – Students must choreograph a response to one question, chosen from a selection of three set by AQA (25%)
- Performance - Group performance in a quartet & Solo Performance linked to a practitioner (25%)
- Critical Engagement - 2.5hr written examination, focusing on a specific choreographic area of study and two professional works within that area of study (50%)
How can families help?
Any trips to see live dance performances would be beneficial, most notably Sadlers Wells Theatre, which offers a range of contemporary live dance performances.
Students should ensure they are attending external dance classes to increase their movement vocabulary and aid their technical dance ability.