“To dance is to be out of yourself. Larger, more powerful. This is power, it is glory on earth and it is yours for the taking” Agnes de Mille

Teacher of Dance / Head of Arts Faculty Miss J Lawlor
Teacher of Dance Mrs J Feakins-Taylor
Teacher of Dance Mrs S Pilgrim

Dance is taught as part of the PE curriculum in Years 7, 8 and 9 with students having four periods of PE per fortnight. We offer students the opportunity to study BTEC Dance in Years 10 and 11, and A'Level Dance in Years 12 and 13. Further details about the A'Level course are available on the Sixth Form website.


Dance as a subject is unique, in that it blends artistic practice with physical activity. In Dance at Bishop Luffa School students will experience high quality teaching through the delivery of an exciting and inclusive curriculum. We aim to enable students to gain artistic skills and discipline, as well as developing their ability in physical interaction, teamwork, problem solving, observing, evaluating, verbal and non-verbal communication. Through dance students will have the opportunity to collaborate with other art forms, and make connections with design in space, musicality and creativity. In the classroom they will examine how dance practitioners use their art form to communicate with audiences and offer different perspectives on the world. In turn students will be encouraged to express ideas and explore their own creative voice through creating original dance works. There will also be a variety of extended opportunities beyond the classroom to inspire students further such as the Interhouse Dance competition, theatre visits, workshops with professional dance companies and performances. Dance can promote positive changes in students' well-being and improve self-esteem and confidence.

Taking part in Dance can support students own personal and spiritual development through dance performance, making dances and examining the work of others. They will be able to enjoy learning about others and the world around them through exploring dances from different cultures and eras. When creating dances students will use their imagination and creativity to explore different dance ideas and starting points. Through examining the work of others students will be reflective, offer different perspectives and share their feelings about what they are seeing and learning about. Overall students will be able to share their love, interest and enjoyment of dance with each other and different audiences to reflect their experiences in this subject.

Dance Learning Journey

This is a visual representation of how students' knowledge and skills develop through the Dance curriculum.

(click on the image below to view a larger version)

Dance Learning Journey

Why Study GCSE Dance?

Dance is a powerful and expressive subject which encourages students to develop their creative, physical, emotional and intellectual capacity, whatever their previous experience in the subject.  This specification recognises the role of dance in young people’s lives and you will study a range of dance styles and style fusions. Apart from the solo performance, you can choose any style in which to perform and choreograph, providing it meets the assessment criteria. The study of the anthology of professional works will develop your ability to critically appraise professional dance works and provide a springboard for engaging in practical tasks. You will study a range of dance styles which acknowledge aspects of the repertoire of dance that can be seen in the United Kingdom today.

The practical component of the course will enable you to study dance by ‘doing’ and the anthology of professional works will provide a springboard for the development of creative and engaging practical tasks. This qualification recognises that GCSE Dance students choose dance for the practical rather than theoretical focus. As a result the written assessment is clear, well-structured and easy for students to understand. You will enjoy the variety of question styles, which include multiple choice, short and extended answer.

Outline of syllabus content

GCSE dance students will learn to choreograph, perform and appreciate dance as an art form.
You will learn how to respond creatively to an externally set stimulus, to choreograph your own complete dance. The dance created must be either a solo dance (2 – 2 ½ minutes) or a group dance (3 – 3 ½ minutes) for two to five dancers.
You will develop and apply knowledge, understanding and skills to perform dance as a soloist (approx. 1 minute) and in a duet/trio (3 -4 minutes).
You will learn how to critically analyse, interpret and evaluate your own work in performance and choreography and demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of professional practice in the six set works in the GCSE Dance Anthology


This is a linear qualification. In order to achieve the award, students must complete all assessments at the end of the course and in the same series.
Component 1 Choreography and Performance (60%)
Internally marked and externally moderated. Non-exam assessment (NEA) marked by the centre and moderated by AQA.
30% of GCSE worth 40 marks
30% of GCSE worth 40 marks
Component 2 Dance Appreciation (40%)
Externally marked by AQA.
40% of GCSE worth 80 marks
Written exam: 1 hour 30 minutes

Click on this link to find out more about the AQA Dance qualification