Dance (A Level)
Why should I study A Level Dance?
“Dance (A Level) is a dynamic qualification which encourages students to develop their creative, physical, emotional and intellectual capacity” (AQA Exam Board).
Dance at The Sixth Form College is about diversity, exploring movement and performance from a range of genres, styles and cultures. Originality and a unique quality of movement is celebrated on the course and performance and practical exploration is fundamental to the learning of our students. As part of this course it is vital to recognise the individual – students are encouraged to explore their individual skills and personal interest in any style of dance.
We aim to build your skills as both a thinking dancer, performer and choreographer, enhancing your knowledge and understanding of professional dance. This course also builds transferable skills relevant to any industry or environment: As an A Level Dance student you will learn to articulate your thoughts and ideas, working closely with others to build your communication skills, perform and present work as well as manage and organise rehearsal schedules. Commitment and dedication are attractive skills in all areas of life. Dance also compliments many other subjects due to its physical and analytical nature.
Students are encouraged to watch and participate in as much live performance and choreography as possible. To this end, the department organises an extensive range of trips, workshops and residencies throughout the year, building upon good links with professional artists, including a significant number of ex-students who regularly return to deliver workshops and coach students who are making decisions about further study or training. The Dance Department also offers a range of additional studies courses, including Dance Club and ChoreoLab – with students playing a significant role in the wider cultural life of the college, getting involved in everything from performances to festivals to flashmobs.
Students are often given opportunities to focus on their own specific interests, which may not be included within the course specification. In the past we have provided opportunities for budding journalists/ physiotherapists / photographers / teachers – individual career interests are discussed and support given within the two years of study. We also have the exciting opportunity to audition for our CHOREOGRAPHER IN RESIDENCE project – a visiting choreographer makes work on a group of exceptional dancers. This has led to performances being chosen to compete in the national U DANCE competition in 2019.
The A Level Dance specification requires students to develop, demonstrate and articulate practical and theoretical knowledge, understanding and experience in the areas of:
• Technical and performance skills.
• The process and art of choreography.
• The interrelationship between the creation, presentation and viewing/ appreciation of dance works
• The development of dance within an artistic and cultural context.
• Professional dance works and the significance of these works.
• Subject specific terminology and its use.
Knowledge, understanding and skills will be developed and demonstrated within performance, choreography and critical engagement with the study of professional repertoire located within specific areas of study.
The study of professional dance works, within the areas of study, promotes the integration of theory and practice and underpins students’ own approaches to performance and choreography.
Progression onto Year 2
Progression to the second year of this A Level course will be dependent on having made satisfactory progress in the first year of the course, including achieving at least an E grade in a formal late spring assessment, as well as the maintenance of a good level of attendance and commitment throughout the year.
Final Assessment at the end of Year 2
Component 1: Performance and choreography.
• Solo performance linked to a specified practitioner within an area of study.
• Performance in a quartet.
• Group choreography.
How it’s assessed?
Practical exam – 50% of A Level.
Component 2: Critical engagement.
Knowledge, understanding and critical appreciation of two set works.
• One compulsory set work within the compulsory area of study.
• One optional set work within the corresponding area of study, from a choice of four.
How it’s assessed:
Written exam: 2 hours 30 minutes – 50% of A Level.
Minimum Entry Criteria
Standard College entry requirements (as detailed on page 12 of the Prospectus) and a minimum of:
GCSE Dance (if taken)
BTEC Level 2 Dance/ Performing Arts (if taken)
GCSE English Language or English Literature
What can I do after studying A Level Dance?
Studying Dance at A Level does not limit you to only becoming a dancer or a dance teacher. There are options to continue with the study of dance at higher education at a university, conservatoire or dance school. This may lead to a career such as: choreographer, community dance practitioner, costume and set designer, dance performer, dance/arts/culture officer, dance company education specialist, dance film maker, dance movement therapist, dance journalist, dance lecturer or academic researcher, dance photographer, dance project co-ordinator or administrator, dance producer, dance science, dance teacher, lighting designer, technical production management, specialist notation/choreology, pilates instructor, press and public relations specialist yoga Instructor or youth worker.