Why choose Dance?

“To touch, to move, to inspire - this is the true gift of dance.”
Aubrey Lynch

Dance05The study of dance is active, physically demanding, intellectually stimulating and fun. This course places huge emphasis on practical dance work across a range of styles, as well as on the analysis of professional choreography. Exploring the work of some of the foremost names in dance will lead to giving you an understanding of their techniques and how to apply them to your own creative work, developing your confidence as an inspiring choreographer, whilst also developing your skills as a performer.

What will you learn?

You will learn how to train effectively and safely, and improve your skills through many performances both in our theatre and in the wider community.  Additionally, you will develop your teaching skills, and learn how to write analytically about dance. The course is crucial in preparing you for degree or vocational dance courses, and is also ideal if you have a love of dance and wish to develop your own skills. This is a highly practical course, with dance and creative work at the heart of the lessons.

 Dance03“Dance has helped develop and nurture my technical, choreographic and performance skills, as well as giving me opportunities to work with some of the most innovative and inspiring practitioners. It's so easy to get on with everyone in the classes and the department is like one massive family.”

Trips and visits

Visits to the theatre are an essential part of the course in order to see a range of live, professional works in a range of genres, and workshops from practitioners are provided whenever possible to support this. These are invaluable in giving students a wide range of movement vocabulary as well as finding out about different ways of creating effective and innovative choreography.

Dance04What happens in a typical lesson?

Practical lessons target different areas of skill including technique, performance, and choreography. Students often work together in small groups on creative tasks, either their own choreography or in response to professional repertoire. Some theory lessons are classroom based, whereas others are linked to the practical application of the theory and therefore combine the two aspects together.

“Every trip you took us on was brilliant and even the theory work was made fun.”

Enrichment activities

  • Dance enrichment provides a regular lunchtime technique class, covering jazz and contemporary styles, which is open to all students, providing extra practical input.
  • Options is an initiative that strives to provide additional opportunities to improve overall practical skills, and includes lessons in styles such as Yoga, Zumba, Contemporary and Creative.
  • There are opportunities to be involved in dance performances, both student and staff lead, and to get involved in Elevation Youth Dance Company, a group that has strong links to the college, creating full-length project-based works.
  • Dance Society is on a Friday lunchtime which is run by students, for students. This provides experience in a range of dance styles, and adapts to the demands of the students.

Performance opportunities

  • The Deacon of Myrka - a full length contemporary dance work.
  • Elevation Youth Dance Company
  • Anka's story - a full length contemporary dance (which we took to the Edinburgh Fringe 2014 where it received a 5 star review from the Daily Mail and it was featured in the Dancing Times).
  • Dance09
  • In addition to the regular College performance opportunities, you will be able to stage your own works in our theatre.
  • You can also create pieces as part of your Extended Project qualification.
  • Dance students have also performed alongside the Joss Arnott company in previous years, as well as participating in the FUSION FESTIVAL at the Junction in the summer.
  • Dance students may also be offered the chance to perform at the Holocaust Memorial Event at the Corn Exchange in Cambridge.

Examination work



See the Performing Arts website:

Entry Requirements

GCSE grade B in English Language or Literature.

Awarding Body


Units of Study

Year 13

Dance - Component 1

Component 1: Performance and Choreography (practical = 50% of marks)

  • Solo performance (linked to a specific practitioner within an area of study)
  • Group Performance (in one of a range of styles)
  • Group choreography (students choreograph a piece on other dancers)

Dance - Component 2

Component 2: Critical Engagement (theory = 50% of marks)
Knowledge, understanding and critical appreciation of a compulsory set work and its location within a corresponding area of study. Written exam.

  • Area of study = Rambert Dance Company 1996-2002
  • Set work = Rooster, Christopher Bruce
Plus: a second Area of Study and Set Work to be chosen from:
  • the romantic ballet period
  • the origins of American modern dance 1900-1945
  • American Jazz Dance 1940-1975
  • the independent contemporary dance scene in Britain 2000 to present.