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The dance curriculum at The Elmgreen School aims to enrich and inspire students by developing their creativity, confidence and interactive skills. Students will:

  • Cultivate mastery of performance and choreographic skills through the study of dance from different cultures, styles and periods of history.
  • Learn to express themes and ideas through movement and encouraged to develop body awareness whilst improving fitness levels.
  • Develop lifelong skills including confidence and social interaction through creating and performing dances.

Our objective is for dance to be creative and fun whilst enabling students to develop stimulating and original work. Tasks are often based around professional dance works, where students develop their appreciation and analysis skill through reflection on their own and others’ work.


Dance at Key Stage 3

In year 7, 8 and 9 dance is delivered as part of the Physical Education carousel. All students will have one term of dance lessons taught by Elmgreen’s specialist dance teacher. During these lessons, students will study a range of units aimed at developing their choreography, performance and appreciation skills. They are introduced to different dance styles including:

  • Street Dance
  • Contemporary Dance
  • Capoeira

The units studied are based on a range of different stimuli including:

  • Urban Living – students explore aspects of youth culture, focusing on the basic techniques of street dancing, locking and popping, breaking and hip hop.
  • Swansong, Christopher Bruce – students analyse this professional dance work creating a dance inspired by the movement material and starting point of the professional work
  • Responding to a Stimulus – students explore different approaches to creating original choreography by responding to a set stimulus and communicating this through dance.


Dance at Key Stage 4

GCSE Dance helps students to develop technical and expressive skills as well as knowledge and understanding of dance through performance, choreography and critical appreciation. The course combines practical and written skills with a focus on choreography and performance, as well as analysis and criticism of dance.

Throughout the GCSE course, students develop skills, knowledge and understanding of dance as a choreographer, performer and critic through:

  • Applying and adapting a wide range of skills and techniques effectively in performing and choreographing dance;
  • Creating dances for a range of purposes and in response to different stimuli;
  • Developing the ability to analyse, evaluate and appreciate dance works;

GCSE Dance follows the AQA specification and is assessed by 60% practical and 40% written examination.


Component 1: Performance and Choreography – Practical Exam 60%
·       Perform set phrases through a solo performance
·       Solo or group choreography
·       Performance in a duet/ trio

Component 2: Dance appreciation – Written Exam 1½ hours 40%
·       Based on students own practice in performance and choreography and critical analysis of professional works listed in the GCSE Dance anthology

Theatre visits are an integral part of the course giving the students the opportunity to study live professional dance. Dance workshops with visiting artists and professional dance companies are also a key element.


Dance at Key Stage 5

At KS5, we offer both BTEC and A-Level dance in order to cater for all of our students. BTEC and A-Level Dance are creative, challenging and dynamic qualifications where students will gain experience of performance and choreography through a range of dance styles. Dancers will engage in critical thinking within their own choreography/performance and in professional repertoire. Students will develop performance and analytical skills in the following genres – modern dance, ballet and jazz dance, and will study a compulsory area of study – Rambert Dance Company.

This course is particularly suitable for students who have studied GCSE Dance and wish to study Dance at a higher level. The content allows students to study a subject which can be extended through higher education and promotes a healthy lifestyle through an awareness of the importance of exercise and training.


What can this course lead to?
This course is designed to encourage students to develop a significant foundation of knowledge for the study of dance through to Higher Education.

Students may go on to train professionally at private dance conservatoires, Performing Arts school, University and follow a career in performing or choreography, either freelance or in the context of a professional company. Many students choose not to follow a career in dance and are instead able to use the skills acquired across the course to find success in many other routes and pathways.

Students follow the AQA A Level Dance course. Through the course students develop their creative and intellectual capacity, alongside transferable skills such as team working, communication and problem solving. Knowledge, understanding and skills will be developed and demonstrated within performance, choreography and critical engagement with the study of professional repertoire located within specific areas of study.

A-level dance is divided into two components. In Component 1, there are three practical tasks (80 marks, 50%). Two tasks assess the subject content for Performance and the other task assesses the subject content for Choreography. Component 2 is the written exam and assesses the subject content for Critical engagement (100 marks, 50%).

This two-component specification requires students to:
develop understanding and knowledge as well as critical skills for the analysis of choreography and performance within their own work and in professional repertoire

  • gain experience of choreography and performance through practice
  • gain in-depth knowledge of specific study areas and professional works.

Theatre visits are an integral part of the course giving the students the opportunity to study live professional dance. Dance workshops with visiting artists and professional dance companies are also a key element.


Extra-Curricular Dance

Extra-Curricular Dance is extremely popular within the school. Lunch time and after school dance clubs are available for all year groups from beginners through to advanced dancers offering a range of dance styles.

There is an annual school Dance Showcase involving a large number of students from across the school. This is growing to be an extremely popular event on the school calendar.

At Elmgreen we have a number of extracurricular activities on offer:

  • Elite Dance Company (Audition Only)
  • Step Into Dance Street Dance Club (lead by Royal Academy of Dance
  • Choreography Club
  • KS3 Dance Club
  • Ballet and Contemporary Club

Auditions are held twice a year for the Elite Dance companies and this is opened up to students from all year groups.

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