Welcome to Dance!
Dance is a fantastic subject that helps build confidence and enables you to express yourself. Dance encourages students to learn new styles and techniques, as well as helping ones stamina, flexibility, balance and helping to keep healthy joints. Dance also links to many other subjects such as Drama, Music and History. It is also important in developing life skills such as teamwork, problem solving and communication skills.
Dance is taught for all students in Key stage 3 through PE. Students will be taught the foundation skills in six-week blocks through Years 7 and Year 8.
When pupils opt to take Dance further as an option, they start the GCSE course from Year 9 through to Year 11.
At Key Stage 4 our students follow the AQA GCSE course, where they are taught:
- Performance: dance techniques, good posture and musicality, so they can perform with confidence and to a high technical standard.
- Composition: how to choreograph by constructing dances with the use of body, action and dynamics.
- Appreciation: Viewing professional dance pieces on DVD and at London Theatres.
- Theoretical: Analysis of how the body works and the understanding of the safe dance practice as a dancer.
The GCSE is set out at 60% practical and 40% theory, where theory has a clear link to the practical elements and appreciation of dance within the written paper.
- Set phrases through a solo performance which is set by the examination board and taught by the teacher to students.
- Performance of a duet or trio – taught by the teacher.
- Choreograph either a solo or group choreography decision of student; students will receive an examination paper to select one question to answer through their choreographic skills.
- A 1 hour 30 minute written examination based on:
- Reflection of their own practice.
- Understanding and knowledge of the choreographic process and performing skills.
- Appreciation of the professional works set by the examination board.
At Key Stage 5 the student studies the AQA A Level course (two year course), where they are taught:
- Performance: Students develop and apply knowledge, understanding and skills required to perform dance, as soloist and in a quartet.
- Composition: Students will translate their dance ideas into choreography through knowledge and understanding of the choreographic process through research, experimentation within the dance studio and gather an understanding of the rehearsal process to choreograph a group dance.
- Documenting choreography: Recording of a choreographic log to go alongside the choreographic process.
- Safe Practice: Understanding of how the dancer’s body works.
- Appreciation: Viewing professional dance pieces on DVD and at London Theatres and analysing the areas of study and the set dances set by the examination board
- Assessment is 50% practical and 50% theory
- Solo performance linked to a specific practitioner within an area of study.
- Performance in a quartet
- Group Choreography answering one question from an examination paper.
- A 2 hour 30 minute written paper based on short questions and one 25 mark essay on the compulsory area of study Rambert Dance Company and the set work Rooster (Christopher Bruce) and two essay questions of 25 marks on one of the following:
- The origins of American Modern Dance 1900-1945 and set work Appalachian Spring (Martha Graham)
- American Jazz Dance 1940-1975 and set work Singin’ in the Rain (Stanley Donen & Gene Kelly)
- The Independent Contemporary Dance scene in Britain 2000-current and set work Sultra (Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui)
Enrichment and Extra Curricular Activities
Beyond the curriculum, there are regular dance clubs for Key Stage 3 students, run by The Royal Academy of Dance, sponsored by Jack Petchey who teach students Street and Lyrical dance. Students then perform in a show once a year run by Jack Petchey where they perform and watch other schools in the borough who are also involved in the programme.
Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5 dance clubs run after school and during lunchtimes for pupils to develop technique, have fun and to work on any examination work if they wish too.
Students can be involved in the Summer Dance show, which includes dance club performances, classwork, examination work and pupils can create their own dances to be showcased.
All students are offered the chance to go and watch live performances in the West End and local theatres.