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Dance AS & A Level at Biddenham Upper School and Sports College

Course description

Students study all aspects of dance including choreography, performance and appreciation through practical and written work. The specification for A Level allows for more variety in the curriculum and a practical approach to the teaching of theory. Theory for A Level includes: analysis of professional dance works, dance history, the theory of choreography and reflective practice. Visits to the theatre and practical workshops form an important part of this course

Entry requirements

  • Dance GCSE grade C or above OR appropriate relevant Dance experience assessed by audition where necessary.
  • English GCSE at grade C or above.
  • NB: Students must also be willing to perform in front of others.

Who can take the course?

  • Anyone interested in Dance, the arts and theatre, and would like to broaden their knowledge.
  • People hoping to go into theatre, teaching or dance as a profession.
  • People who would like a creative contrast to a scientific or mathematical course of study.


A Level:

  • Solo performance linked to a specified practitioner within an area of study (choreographed with/by the teacher - 2- 3 minutes)
  • Performance in a quartet (choreographed with/by the teacher - 3-4 minutes)
  • Group choreography (choreographed by the student - 3-4 minutes)

A Level - Component 2 - Critical Engagement - Written Exam (2hrs 30mins) - 50% of A level

  • Knowledge, understanding and critical appreciation of two set works.:
    Christopher Bruce’s Rooster in the context of Rambert Dance Company
    Martha Graham’s Appalachian Spring in the context of American Modern Dance
  • Questions Two sections:

Section A: short answer questions (25 marks) and one essay question (25 marks) on one of the set works.

Section B: two essay questions on the second set work/area of study (25 marks for each essay).

Financial information

Theatre trips to see live dance works will be arranged throughout the year and where possible workshops from dance professionals. It is expected that students will attend as many as possible. The cost is kept as reasonable as possible, with each trip cost approximately £25 (including transport and tickets). Rather than financial cost, students are required to make some personal commitments of their own time. There is a huge range of extracurricular activities and performances run through the dance department and 6th Form students are expected to be involved in at least one of these activities and at least one performance. Such activities include:

  • Street dance club
  • Biddenham Dance Company
  • Body conditioning (fitness training)
  • Theatre trips (Milton Keynes, Cambridge, London etc)
  • Choreographic workshops at the University of Bedfordshire
  • School Musical
  • Internal Dance and Drama showcase
  • "Spring into Dance" internal dance production
  • Performances at the University of Bedfordshire
  • Supporting and teaching lower and middle school students
  • Assisting in GCSE lessons

Future opportunities

A-level Dance is a dynamic qualification which encourages students to develop their creative and intellectual capacity, alongside transferable skills such as team working, communication and problem solving. All of these are sought after skills by higher education and employers and will help them stand out in the workplace whatever their choice of career. The analytical nature of dance theory, the problem solving inherent in choreography, the ability to communicate and the importance of self presentation in dance, students will be well equipped for succeeding in today's workplace, anywhere.

Specific opportunities could include: Dance performer; choreographer; teacher; dance therapist; arts administrator; dance company education department; a sales environment; marketing and any career involving the need to be self motivated, creative and to be able to work on own initiative.

Further information

Course contact: Miss H Wiltshire, (Head of Dance & Drama) (Teacher of English & Dance)

Exam board information:

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Biddenham Upper School and Sports College directly.

Last updated date: 04 November 2016

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