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Course specifics

Entry Requirements

  • A minimum of 5 GCSEs at grade 4 or above (including English Language). Level 2 vocational qualifications (e.g. BTEC/OCR) must be a merit grade or above and only one will count as one GCSE equivalent
  • All students will be required to attend a short audition



Exam board: AQA

75%75% of students have gone on to Higher Education Dance studies

“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.  

The course is designed to give you theoretical and practical experience through an understanding of dance. You will acquire technical skills in choreography, contemporary dance and performance and engage in critical thinking about dance practice.

You will develop dance appreciation skills through the analysis of professional works, gaining an understanding of the historical and cultural context of dances. You will develop an understanding of a dancer’s physiology and the rehearsal and performance process. 




The Dance A-level is a linear course. Examinations taken in the 2nd year are as follows:

Component 1

50% of A-level

Performance and choreography - Practical Examination

• Solo performance linked to area of study

• Performance in a quartet

• Group choreography

Component 2

50% of A-level

Critical engagement - Written Examination

• Understanding of a compulsory set work and it’s corresponding area of study

• Understanding of a chosen set work and it’s corresponding area of study

You will be expected to rehearse out of College hours. A commitment to this is essential.


The facilities relating to Performing Arts include:

  • Fully equipped performance space.
  • Excellent state of the art technical/backstage equipment.
  • A bespoke Dance studio with sprung floor, mirrors and air-conditioning.
  • We also have a dance specific dance classroom with projector, interactive whiteboard and professional works library.
Working with industry professionals and technique training

Working with industry professionals and technique training

Partnerships and Links

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 the costs of these will always be relayed prior and in good time.

Further Dance Training

You will be expected to partake in further technique training in an extra lesson per week. This will be delivered by a range of professionals working in the industry. There is a discounted cost for this as we host it in-house during your timetable, a great opportunity to access professional development and perform in choreographer's works.

It is necessary that all dance students attend in order to develop their technique and choreographic practice, as it feeds into and supports the course components.

Meet the Performing Arts Teachers


Students completing this course have gone on to Higher Education courses such as BA Honours degrees in Dance, Performing Arts, and a selection of students have gone on to Performing Arts or Dance Schools. 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. 

Enrichment & Additional Costs

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 (ballet/jazz shoes and dance wear) are required by all dance students. The professional technique classes run each term at a reduced cost.

Entry Requirements

You are required to have five GCSE passes or the equivalent including English. It is advisable that you participate in dance outside College or have GCSE Dance or Performing Arts or Expressive Arts. Students will be required to attend an audition to gain entry to the course.

Dance Students at Big Arts Picnic

Contact the Dance Team

What is this?

Audition date for 2020 entry: 1st April

Details will be sent to those who have applied for this course.