What is Dance?
Dance is a practical, creative and artistic subject. As a dance student, you will participate in choreographic tasks; solo as well as group work. Therefore, you will be expected to perform in front of an audience as well as the Examiner and the rest of your class. A Level Dance is NOT about learning routines but about exploring safe dance studio practices and creating your own choreography. You are also required to be able to write about and analyse coherently the types of dance you will be exploring in and out of the class. This will be your own work as well as professional repertoire.
Is Dance suitable for me?
Dance offers an interesting mixture of both practical and theory work. You will work on solo and group performances, designing and choreographing in a wide number of styles and forms of dance. Many students enjoy the physical energy of dance and the opportunity to explore the expressive relationship between movement and music. In order to succeed in this subject, you will need to be self motivated, committed and be open to improving your dance skills in both written and practical work. Current A Level Dance students say there is a need to be prepared to put in extra time for rehearsal. You need to be organised, dedicated and have a love for movement.
How will I learn?
Most lessons are of a practical nature, whether it is rehearsing for a performance, learning dance theory, participating in improvisation, devising choreography or analysing professional dance work. The class focus is often on learning theory through practice and they are therefore not run like an extra-curricular dance lesson such as RAD Ballet, ISTD Jazz or Street dance. You are expected to take notes on each class as part of your ongoing Dance Folder. On average four hours of private study are expected each week at A Level. This can consist of rehearsal time, essay writing and research based exploration of dance in the professional world.
How will I be assessed?
Overall assessment weighting of the full A Level
Practical assessment = 55%; written assessment = 45%.
AS written assessment - 20% of A Level
- Written exam: 1 hour 30 minutes long containing structured questions and two essay style questions.
AS practical assessment - 30% of A Level
- A piece of solo choreography performed in front of an external moderator. Two to three minutes in duration. A response to one of four possible stimuli.
- Duo or trio performance lasting to four minutes performed in front an external moderator. Although candidates perform in a group, each candidate is assessed individually on their performance skills.
A2 written assessment - 25% of A Level
- Written exam: 1 hour 30 minutes split in to two sections. Section A relates to one era of dance history. Section B asks questions on a set professional work studied in and out of class. The questions require critical analysis and appreciation of the work.
A2 practical assessment - 25% of A Level
- A group choreography lasting two to three minutes. The candidate will choreograph the dance on other people and not perform within it. This is also based on a response to one of four stimuli.
- A Solo performance lasting two to three minutes based on a dance practitioner in the professional dance world. The solo performance and choreography MUST reflect the style of a Dance Practitioner the student has chosen to study or be a re-creation of an existing professional solo appropriate to the eras of dance history outlined in the specification.
The course can lead you to studying Dance or Expressive and Performing Arts courses at university at the end of your A Level. A Level Dance also links up to PE courses at university. Gaining choreographic and performance experience through the A Level Dance course can give students a better chance at getting into performing Arts schools. It can also improve an individual’s self confidence and communicative skills.
Students studying a 3 or 4 AS level programme should normally have achieved an average GCSE point score of 5.5 or above and at least a grade C in Maths and/or English (unless specified otherwise). Students with a point score between 4.5 – 5.5 will normally take a mixture of Subsidiary Diplomas and AS levels. You can check your likely GCSE point score by going to 'Choosing the Right Course' on the website and entering your predicted grades.
The course is designed for students from a dance background. A GCSE in Dance is desirable.
All students will be expected to provide a standard textbook, their own stationery, computer discs and calculators (where appropriate). Costs are outlined below:
Essential: £75 for textbooks and DVDs. (Although access to specific dance books and DVDs will be available in the Learning Resource Centre, you are recommended to purchase your own copies).
Desirable: You will be expected to attend trips to dance performances. The cost of these trips and workshops can be up to £50 throughout the year.
If the costs of equipment, materials and trips may cause you financial hardship, you may wish to read through details of our financial support scheme on our website.
- Sixth Form Course: