Contact Teacher: Miss J Lawlor, Head of Arts Faculty

Exam Board: AQA


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 Dance

A-level Dance is a dynamic qualification which encourages students to develop their creative and intellectual capacity, alongside transferable skills such as team working, communication and problem solving. All of these are sought after skills by higher education and employers and will help students stand out in the workplace whatever their choice of career.

This specification reflects both historical and current dance practices, making it more relevant, and inspires a lifelong passion and appreciation for dance. AQA recognises the role of dance in young people’s lives and as a result students will be able to study a range of dance styles. Students can perform and choreograph in a style of their choice for the group work, providing it meets the assessment criteria.

Course details

Component 1: Performance and Choreography (externally assessed)
To be successful in this component students are required to complete three practical tasks:

  • Solo Performance linked to a practitioner within an area of study
  • Performance in a quartet plus programme note
  • Group Choreography (externally set task) plus programme note

Component 2: Critical Engagement (externally assessed)
Students will be required to develop an in-depth knowledge, understanding and critical appreciation of TWO set works and TWO areas of study:

  • Compulsory set work: ‘Rooster’ by Christopher Bruce
  • Compulsory area of study: Rambert
  • Optional set work and area of study: One of the four options will be selected for study:
    • Giselle by Jean Coralli and Jules Perrot / The romantic ballet period
    • Appalachian Spring by Martha Graham / The origins of American modern dance 1900-1945
    • Singin’ in The Rain by Gene Kelly / American Jazz dance 1940-1975
    • Sutra by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui / The independent contemporary dance scent in Britain 2000 - current

How the course is taught and assessed

The course is both academic and practical. Students will develop and apply the knowledge, understanding and skills required to perform dance, as a soloist and in a group. The knowledge and understanding of physical skills developed through practical workshops will underpin and inform the development of both the technical and interpretative skills required as a dance performer. Students will also explore the choreographic process so that they are able to translate their dance ideas into choreography. In theory sessions students will have the opportunity to develop skills in dance analysis and offer critical appreciation of two set works and two areas of study. There will also be opportunities throughout the two years to be involved in productions, watch live dance performances and participate in workshops with visiting dance artists.

Component 1: Performance and Choreography
How it is assessed:

  • Practical exam
  • 80 marks
  • 50% of A Level

Component 2: Critical Engagement
How it is assessed:

  • Written exam: 2.5 hours
  • 100 marks
  • 50% of A Level

Entry requirements

If you have taken BTEC Dance at Level 2 then you will be expected to have gained at least a MERIT grade overall. You may take Dance at A-level if you have not taken Level 2 BTEC Dance but you will need at least a grade 5 in English Language and/or Literature.  In addition, we would expect you to evidence prior dance experience. In this case you would be invited to audition. Details will be discussed upon application.