“Dance is vital, an activity both exhilarating and liberating to watch or do. The instinct to dance is fundamentally joyous and no matter how hard you try you can’t get away from that for long. It can also be a huge force for good, effectively drawing people together and levelling everyone through sheer hard work. It can speed up your heart rate, it can enliven your being, it can change your life.”
Richard Alston CBE
Through studying Dance students learn and develop a range of physical, choreographic and performance skills in order to create, perform and evaluate dance. Students explore a range of styles, cultures and stimuli through dance and broaden their understanding of movement. As a physical activity it promotes fitness and well-being. As performers, students develop confidence, self-esteem and creativity. They develop self and body awareness as well as sensitivity to others, communication and team-working skills. As critics, students make informed decisions about the dances they see. They articulate their knowledge, opinions and preferences. Viewing professional dances fulfils students’ cultural entitlement and broadens their artistic experience.
In Year 7 Students are introduced to a variety of dance skills, which form the basis for creating choreography, and develop their skills in creating, performing and evaluating. Students explore how dance has developed through different eras such as the 1920s Charleston and the 1960s and will gain an understanding of different styles and genres of dance such as Musical Theatre. Students will use choreographic skills to create and perform their own sequences and evaluate the effectiveness of these.
Students extend and enhance skills learnt in Year 7 throughout the year. We will continue to develop the variety of skills and styles of dance learnt and use a number of stimuli to create dance. Students study and explore professional dance works and use these as inspiration to develop choreography and performance, as well as enhance their understanding of how dance is created. Students finish year 8 by taking on an independent project where they have the opportunity to choreograph their own dance performance in response to a stimulus.
Year 9 provides an opportunity to build on the skills learnt in Years 7 and 8. Throughout the year students will develop their physical, technical, stylistic and interpretative skills through a series of technique and choreographic workshops. Students will choreograph dance in response to a range of stimuli and learn, analyse and perform professional repertoire in order to demonstrate a creative intention to an audience. Students are encouraged to be creative, imaginative and express their own opinion on the given stimuli when choreographing, performing and evaluating performances. Students undertake some theory work in order to deepen their understanding of dance.
In Year 10 students will explore the dance industry through the study of three different professional works, in different dance styles, as part of their Component 1 written unit. In both theory and practical lessons, students will explore how the works were choreographed to demonstrate the creative intent effectively to an audience and how the different constituent features, interrelationships and practitioners contributed to this. In Component 2, students will also develop their dance skills and techniques further in rehearsal and performance through a range of technical and performance workshops, as well as replicate professional repertoire.
In the first part of Year 11 students will continue to develop their dance skills and techniques through rehearsal of professional repertoire for Component 2, developing their technical, stylistic and interpretative skills. Students will perform this repertoire for assessment and reflect on their progress throughout the unit. Students will also choreograph a performance in response to an external brief. Students will research, create, rehearse and perform a dance piece which reflects the stimulus set for a target audience, as well as evaluate their choreographic process.