Outline of Course

This course is intended to develop students’ understanding and appreciation of a range of dance styles through performing, choreographing and viewing dances.  Students will have opportunities to learn new dance techniques, take part in choreography workshops and view professional dance works, both on video and at the theatre. 

Dance is a performance art and, as such, students will be expected to take part in any performance opportunities that arise to prepare them for the practical examination that occurs at the end of the course.

Assessment Method

Component 1: Performance and Choreography  

What’s assessed:


  • 2 set phrases through a solo performance (approx. one minute in duration)
  • Duet/trio performance (three and a half minutes in duration)


  • Solo or group choreography – a solo (two to two and a half minutes) or a group dance for two to five dancers (three to three and a half minutes)

Internally marked and externally moderated.

Performance: 30% of GCSE – 40 marks (12 marks for set phrases and 24 marks for duet/trio performance with another 4 marks awarded overall for mental skills)

In conjunction with their teacher, the student must select two set phrases from a bank of four set by the AQA exam board (12 marks).  The duet/trio performance will be choreographed by students and their teacher.  The dance must include aspects of the other two set phrases from the solo performance. (24 marks).

Choreography: 30% of GCSE 40 marks

Each student is required to select a single stimulus from one of five options from the paper for which they have been entered. Each year, the tasks will relate to the following types of stimuli:

  • Words, poem or a piece of text
  • A photograph/image
  • A prop, accessory or object
  • A feature of the natural world
  • An everyday activity or topical or historical event

The task requires each student to create a complete dance of a minimum of two minutes for a solo or a minimum of three minutes for a group dance for between two to five dancers, which includes movement material and a selected aural setting in response to a choice of one stimulus from a prescribed task list set by AQA.

Non-exam assessment marked by the centre and moderated by AQA.

Component 2: Dance Appreciation

What’s assessed:

  • Knowledge and understanding of choreographic processes and performing skills
  • Critical appreciation of own work
  • Critical appreciation of six professional dance works in an anthology

40% of GCSE – written exam: 1 hour 30 minutes – 80 marks

Questions:  Based on students’ own practice in performance and choreography and the GCSE Dance Anthology.

Ways in which parents can help

An important element of the study of dance includes exposure to live performances outside the school context.  This can encourage students’ enthusiasm for the subject, as well as deepening their understanding.  Homework set is of both a practical and written nature and, wherever appropriate, guidelines for completion of coursework will be sent home along with information about deadlines.

Students would benefit from attending the Innovations School of Dance sessions as part of the Dance Department Gifted and Talented Programme.  This is intended to increase the students’ performing opportunities and enhance their performance and choreography skills.

It is the intention of the course to enable students to develop life-skills, including decision- making, critical and creative thinking and the ability to co-operate with others through the study of dance.

What can I do with a dance qualification?

You may wish to take a GCSE in dance for its own sake, perhaps to form the basis of a future interest or as part of a range of other subjects. Or you might wish to go into a job where it is useful to have had experience of dance, or where you will need to use some of the skills developed during this course. These might include careers in such fields as retail, travel and tourism, sales and marketing or any career that involves meeting people face to face. The study of dance can help you develop transferable skills which you can take into any career or job. This qualification can be used for entry onto sixth form courses such as A level dance and BTEC Level 3 National in Performing Arts.

For further information see

Mrs T Falkner