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Dance AQA A 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.


A Level
  • Component 1 Performance and choreography 50% of A Level
  • Component 2 Critical engagement 50% of A Level


Component 1 - Performance and Choreography
Students develop their knowledge and skills from their AS performances and choreographies , and create a group choreography piece for 3, 4 or 5 dancers, lasting two to three minutes. Students do not perform in their own pieces of choreography and are examined on their ability to create, develop, manipulate and structure movement material. Students also select one of the practitioners from their chosen genre in the Critical Engagement unit, and create a solo performance piece of two to three minutes that practitioner’s choreographic style.
Students will also create a quartet choreography linked to a genre/practitioner from the critical engagement unit. Students will be assessed solely on their performance of this piece not the choreography.
Component 2 – Critical Engagement
Students will focus on and analyse in depth two professional dance works and their corresponding area of study. Students will study specific choreographer’s style, technique and influences. They will learn how practitioners develop and link this to a corresponding area of study. Students will answer 4 essay questions based on these set works and area of study.

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