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Dance A level at Esher College

Course description

Students will study performance, choreography and dance appreciation. There will be the opportunity to devise, perform and interpret dance, demonstrating technical and expressive skills, as well as evaluate and critique professional works across a range of genres. Dance is assessed both practically and in written examinations. 


Course content

During the first year you will create a duet and a quartet. You will develop your knowledge and understanding of dance by looking at a range of dance works by Rambert choreographers. You will study “Rooster” by Christopher Bruce and look at the Rambert dance company as well as two other choreographers such as Robert North and Glen Tetley. You will work with teachers from Rambert and spend time at their studios on the South Bank in London. You will have the opportunity of auditioning for their youth company Quicksilver and of taking weekly classes at Rambert.

For the second year, you study the area of American Jazz dance and analyse the set work  “Singin’ in the Rain” starring Gene Kelly. You will study the works of other choreographers in this genre: Jerome Robbins (West Side Story, Gypsy, Fiddler on the Roof) and Bob Fosse (Chicago, Cabaret, Sweet Charity) This component will be assessed through a written examination. You will revisit “Rooster” and Rambert.

You will also choreograph a group dance based on a chosen question provided by the examining board AQA. You will perform a solo from the repertoire you studied for the written exam. Both performances will be externally assessed. The second year assessment is equally weighted between the practical and written examinations.

Entry requirements

The minimum entry requirement for study at Esher College is 5 GCSEs at A* - C (or 9 – 4 in Maths and English).  We encourage students to aim significantly higher than this to ensure that study programmes are successfully completed.

You will need some experience in dance. This could be GCSE Dance or classes you attend in school or another dance school. You will enjoy dance and wish to extend your knowledge and understanding of the subject in all areas. There will be an opportunity to develop your creativity and technical knowledge in dance performance, choreography and analytical writing.

You will also need a grade 4 or above in English Language GCSE

If you do not have a grade 4 in either GCSE English Language or Maths and you qualify to follow a study programme at the College, you will be required to retake one or both of these subjects in your first year.  A lack of GCSE English Language at grade 4 will significantly restrict study programme options.


Assessment is 50% practical examination and 50% written examination on two set works.

Future opportunities

Some students take a Dance degree at a university such as Bath Spa, Chichester or Roehampton. Others go to Urdang, London Studio Centre, Trinity Laban, LIPA, Bird College, Laine Theatre Arts, Arts Ed. or spend a year with a company such as the Balletboyz and gain a Level 4 qualification as a professional dancer. Some go abroad to study Dance at places like the Barcelona Institute of the Arts. Some follow musical theatre pathways and go to places like Mountview or GSA. Careers cover professional dancer, dance critic, dance therapist, administrator for a dance company, archivist and dance teacher.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Esher College directly.

Last updated date: 12 October 2016
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