Dance A-Level | Surbiton High School
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Dance A-Level

Examination Board: AQA

A-level Dance offers students the opportunity to broaden their study and experience of dance, ensuring a breadth of abilities are developed; both theoretical and practical. The qualification reflects both historical and current dance practices, and inspires a lifelong passion and appreciation for dance. A-level Dance is for students with a passion for dance and an interest in developing their creative and intellectual capacity; as well as their technical training. It encourages students to explore the historical and cultural contexts of dance, and to reflect upon their own practical work within the context of professional practice. A-level Dance focuses on three strands of dance: performance, choreography and critical engagement.

A-level Dance is an ideal qualification for those looking to pursue a career in the creative industry or within performing arts. Its broad yet detailed areas of study within performance, choreography and critical engagement ensure students are well-prepared for work within the industries, as well as further or higher education and university programmes. The course’s focus on the promotion of the academic and transferable skills valued by higher education and employers (such as teamwork, communication, and problem -solving) also makes A-level Dance a suitable accompaniment to a range of other A-level options. Many students have gone onto study a wide range of courses such as psychology, medicine, and Drama. Their high grade in Dance enabled them to get into the course/university of their choice.

It is essential that students taking this course have previous experience in the field of dance and relevant supporting qualifications. This could be GCSE Dance or other relevant training and/or examination certificates.

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Component 1: Performance and Choreography

In this component, you will work on your practical dance skills by developing your creative choreographic abilities alongside your dance techniques. When being assessed on your performance, you will develop and apply the knowledge, understanding and skills required to perform dance. The knowledge and understanding of physical skills, including flexibility, strength, cardiovascular endurance, muscular endurance, agility, neuromuscular coordination and kinaesthetic awareness, underpin and inform the development of both the physical/technical and interpretative/performance skills. When assessed on choreography, you will learn to translate your dance ideas into choreography by developing and applying practical knowledge and understanding of choreographic processes.

In this component you will prepare for three practical examinations:

■ A solo performance – in this assessment, you will develop and apply the knowledge, understanding and skills required to perform as a soloist in the style of a specified practitioner from an area of study in Component 2
■ Performance as a quartet – in this assessment, you will learn how to perform as part of a group
■ Group choreography – in this assessment you will learn how to create an original piece of group choreography for three to five dancers, in response to an externally set task.

Component 2: Critical Engagement

In this component, you will prepare for a written examination that assesses your in-depth knowledge, understanding and critical appreciation of two professional dance works and their corresponding areas of study. As the compulsory part of the specification, you will study Christopher Bruce’s ‘Rooster’ (1991) and Rambert Dance Company from 1966 – 2002. You will then look at a second historical context and an accompanying set professional work.

In lesson time, you will critically engage with dance and understand the interrelationship between the creation, presentation and viewing/appreciation of dance. Critical engagement with the set works and areas of study will enable you to develop and demonstrate an in-depth knowledge and understanding of dance from different historical and cultural contexts through its styles, techniques, influences, key practitioners and communication of dance ideas.