“Dancing: The Highest Intelligence in the Freest Body.” Isadora Duncan
This course focuses on developing practical choreographic skills enhanced by analytical studies, dance technique and performance. We study a wide range of unique and exciting contemporary dance practitioners, both practically and theoretically, such as Christopher Bruce and Jasmin Vardimon. Practical dance workshops aim to improve your technique and choreographic flair and culminate in various performance opportunities in preparation for the practical exam. Confidence, creativity, fitness and well-being are consistently nurtured and developed, alongside a conscious awareness of current practice through analysis and critical writing.
You will develop skills in research, analysis, independent thinking and organisation, as well as choreographic practice and performance. Subject teachers are ambitious for students to progress in Dance, using their wealth of experience to enable this.
Please note: all students are required to audition for a place on the course which will consist of a practical workshop, a written task and an interview.
In 2023 75% of A-level Dance students achieved A*-B. This exceeded national benchmarks by 12.6%. 100% of students achieved A*-C. of As well as this, student progress was significantly higher than national benchmarks.
The Dance A-level is a linear course. In your first year you will work on the development of your contemporary technique through the exploration of professional works and within specified technique classes. Choreographic practice will be developed as you create solo and group pieces for internal assessment and performance. You will also cover a large proportion of the theoretical work and be working on exam stamina and critical writing through mock papers and questioning.
The second year focuses on your preparation for the exams. You will respond to a set choreographic paper by creating a group piece on your peers as well as learning a solo dance and quartet piece for performance. Alongside this you will continue to look at the 2 set works in detail and their accompanying areas of study showing critical engagement and developed writing.
Examinations taken in the 2nd year are as follows:
50% of A-level
Performance and Choreography
50% of A-level
Each component will be assessed by one of two methods:
1. Written Examination – 2.5 hour written paper set by exam board.
2. Practical Examination – solo performance, performance in quartet and group choreography.
You will be expected to rehearse out of College hours. A commitment to this is essential.
We have a dedicated Dance studio that is purpose built with sprung floor, mirrors and air-conditioning. We also have a dance specific dance classroom with projector, interactive whiteboard and professional works library.
During the course a number of visits and workshops will be arranged which will require students to contribute towards travelling and ticket costs. Dance attire (leggings, top, leotard) is required by all dance students. Students are encouraged to purchase a Performing Arts top at the beginning of the year. The professional technique classes run each term at a reduced cost and bursaries are available to students who need it.
We have strong links with 3rd Stage Dance Company, and Bristol School of Performing Arts (BSPA) as well as many local theatre companies and professional dance companies. Students benefit from regular workshops, visiting speakers, exciting performance opportunities and theatre trips. A contribution towards costs of these will always be relayed prior and in good time.
Many students progress to Dance and Performing Arts courses at university or Performing Arts colleges. Whilst a performer’s career can be brief, a career or vocation, in the dance industry can last your entire life. Skills learnt lead to employment in Education, PR, Marketing, Creative Administration, Events management or many roles requiring communication and a creative outlook.
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