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Dance AQA AS Level (Linear) at Poynton High School

Course description

Students will learn to develop, demonstrate and articulate practical and theoretical knowledge, understanding and experience of:
• Technical and performance skills
• The process and art of choreography
• The interrelationship between the creation, the presentation and the viewing/appreciation of dance works
• The development of dance placed 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 the areas of performance, choreography and critical engagement with own work and the study of two specific areas of study.
Areas of study provide students with the opportunity to investigate the key changes in the development of dance linked to a genre(s) and allow students to demonstrate contextual understanding through written communication and performance.

Course content

Learning Method
Students should have a keen interest in choreographing, performing and appreciating dances.  Independent research, rehearsals, participation in additional workshops, classes and theatre visits are key to success in this course. This is a challenging, but highly rewarding course which develops interpersonal, social and cognitive skills. There is extensive opportunity to work with Britain’s most prestigious dance companies such as Rambert Dance Company, Retina Dance Company, The Ballet Boys and Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures.

Entry requirements

  • 5 grade Cs or above at GCSE level, including a C or above in this subject if previously studied at GCSE. Previous Contemporary Dance experience is highly desirable, with knowledge of choreography, performance and analysis.


  • Component 1 Performance and choreography 50% of AS
  • Component 2 Critical engagement 50% of AS
Component 1 - Performance and Choreography
The process and craft of choreography are taught practically through workshop exploration of choreographic skills. This provides students with the necessary skills to choreograph their own solo dance of two to three minutes duration. This solo task is based on stimuli such as pictures, quotes, poems or specific pieces of music.
To demonstrate performance skills, students create and perform a duo or trio of three to four minutes duration in any style or genre. They learn how to apply technical, interpretative and performance skills to their own dances.
Component 2 - Critical Engagement
Exam paper:
Students must respond to short answer questions on own practice and a compulsory area of study. They must also respond to two essay questions: one on the compulsory area of study and one other on their chosen area of study from the four options.
The exam is marked out of 80.
The question paper has three sections and covers the assessment objectives AO3 and AO4 as follows:
  • Section A: Own practice – short answer questions – total 15 marks.
  • Section B: Compulsory area of study – short answer questions – total 15 marks.
  • Section C: Compulsory and optional area of study – essay questions – total 50 marks

Future opportunities

A Level Dance nurtures talent and develops numerous transferable skills. Many students find that the independence and responsibility required to achieve in this subject are an excellent preparation for the future. Students are required to communicate, perform in front of an audience, work as a team and indeed teach each other during the course. A Level Dance students have gained places at world renowned training schools including Northern School of Contemporary Dance, The Northern Ballet School and The Laban Centre and have also gone on to study a range of courses including Law, Nursing, Criminology and English Literature.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Poynton High School directly.

Last updated date: 15 September 2016

Key information