GCSE Dance

What will I learn?

This course is intended to develop students’ understanding and appreciation of a range of dance styles, through performing, choreographing and viewing dances. Students will have opportunities to learn new dance techniques, take part in choreography workshops and view professional dance works both on video and at the theatre.

There will be at least one theatre trip each year of the course (more if possible!).

Dance is a Performing Art and as such students will be expected to take part in any performance opportunities that arise to prepare them for the practical exam that occurs at the end of the course.

How will I be assessed?

Written Paper – 1 hour 30 minutes. – 40% of GCSE

Students will study an anthology of 8 professional dance works as set by the exam board, covering a range of dance styles, themes and physical settings. Students will also study the theory of choreography and performance as well as learning the skills to critically appreciate their own work. Exam questions range from short answer questions to more extended answers which will require students to use their knowledge and understanding of all the dances studied and the subject itself.

Performance – 30% of GCSE

Set Phrases.

Practical exam .

Students will be taught a series of two phrases choreographed by the exam board lasting approximately 20 seconds each. Students will be assessed on their performance skills for phrases. Students will be assessed on their performance skills by their teacher and then these marks are moderated by the exam board

Performance in a Duo/Trio

Practical exam

Students perform a duo/trio lasting approximately three and half minutes. The dance is choreographed by the teacher in collaboration with the students. The assessment includes marks for demonstration of knowledge of safe practice. Students will be assessed on their performance skills by their teacher and then these marks are moderated by the exam board.

Choreography -30% of GCSE

Solo or group choreography

Practical exam

The students create a solo dance lasting two to two and half minutes OR a group dance (2-5 dancers) lasting three to three and a half minutes. The dance may be in any style in response to an outline stimulus created by the exam board. The chosen style must allow the students to meet the criteria for assessment. The students perform their solo/group choreography as part of their practical exam. The students” choreographic skills are marked by their teacher and then the marks are moderated by the exam board.

What are the costs?

A number of trips to see professional dance works performed live will be arranged throughout the course. The cost is kept as reasonable as possible, with each trip cost approximately £25 -30 (including transport and tickets).

Rather than financial cost, students are required to make some personal commitments of their own time. There is a huge range of extra-curricular activities and performances run through the dance department and GCSE students are expected to be involved in at least one of these activities and at least one performance.

Such activities include:

  • Street dance club.
  • Biddenham Dance Company.
  • Cheerleading
  • Body conditioning (fitness training).
  • The school musical
  • Theatre trips (Milton Keynes, Cambridge, London etc).
  • Choreographic workshops at the University of Bedfordshire.
  • Internal Dance and Drama showcase.
  • “Spring into Dance” internal dance production.
  • Performances at the University of Bedfordshire.
  • Supporting lower school students (Westfield).

Is there anything else I need to know?

GCSE Dance is a comprehensive study of Dance in its physical, artistic, aesthetic and cultural context. In addition to helping students acquire subject knowledge, the subject promotes fitness, a healthy lifestyle, teamwork and creativity. It is an enjoyable, practically weighted course which can provide a welcome relief and contrast to theory based courses, providing variety in the students’ curriculum.

Future opportunities

The GCSE has been developed to provide students with knowledge of the subject and the specialist skills necessary to continue their professional education in Dance. In addition, the skills acquired through the study of GCSE Dance such as teamwork, problem-solving, management and motivation of others, communication and expression are transferable and desirable for almost any career and further studies. Students become well rounded individuals that can display both academic and practical skills. Universities are commonly looking for those students that are more than just ‘academic’ and have interests in other areas such as the Arts. Careers linked to Dance

Exam board information: AQA

Who should I contact for extra information?

Course contacthayley.wiltshire@mybiddenham.com