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Performance Arts (Dance) BTEC Subsidiary Diploma Level 3 at Wilberforce College

Course description

You should choose to study dance if you enjoy learning and creating performances in modern dance. It is a very lively practical course with many opportunities for performances most of which form part of your assessment. As well as contemporary dance you will study the elements of many different dance styles such as street dance, contemporary, rock ‘n’ roll and physical theatre.

The best quality this course has is that you only need a keen interest in dance, bags of enthusiasm and a willingness to learn. However, if you are experienced in dancing already your skills will be put to good use especially in the units that require you to choreograph.

The course is 80% practical and 20% theoretical in the first year and for anyone who wants to progress to the second year is it 70% practical and 30% theoretical so for anyone who loves dancing this is a great choice. The Advanced Subsidiary Diploma Performing Arts – Dance is equivalent to one AS Level in the first year and a full A Level in the second so you can choose other subjects to study alongside it.

Course content


Unit 38 - Dance Performance, focuses on learning dances that are choreographed by your tutor in three different dance styles. You will learn how a dance is choreographed in the style of Street Dance, Contemporary and Rock and Roll and undertake workshops to learn them. At the end of each dance learnt you will perform them to an audience and be assessed on your ability to reproduce the steps and style. In addition to this you are graded on your effort and attitude to learning the dance and you keep a working diary in which you comment upon your strengths, weaknesses and goals.
The second unit, Unit 40 - Choreographing Dances, centres around your choreographing skills. Firstly you will compose a report about how dances are put together which is followed by choreographing a dance using different styles in small groups. The last assignment includes creating your own solo using various styles of dance and performing this to an audience.

The third unit, Unit 41- Dance Improvisation, focuses upon creating dances with themes and stories from chosen stimuli. This unit is unique in that it also requires you to learn about key practitioners and how to use your creative spontaneity to develop and choreograph dance performances.


This second year units include Unit 42 - The Healthy Performer, this unit involves learning about how the dancer’s body works in performance, dance injuries and prevention and healthy eating for a dancer. You will compose a report on how the body works in performance, put a fitness programme together which you will try out in our very own college gym and prepare a presentation on dance injuries and diet for a dancer.

The second unit studied is entitled Unit 7 - Performing to an Audience. In this unit you will undertake a dance in education project in which you will visit a local primary school to perform a dance that you have choreographed on a given theme. This is followed by a workshop with the primary school children. This unit is great fun and the children are always very excited about seeing our performances.

The last unit you will undertake is called Unit 54 - Dance Appreciation. In this unit you will learn about two particular choreographers, write a report about them, perform in their dance styles and choreograph a dance in groups based on a combination of their styles. The choreographers you will study are Lea Anderson and Siobhan Davies. The last performance will be performed in the annual dance show as part of your assessment.

Entry requirements

4 A*-C grades at GCSE or equivalent in at least three subjects including a D in GCSE English Language. 

Previous dance experience is desirable. You will be required to undertake an informal audition in the first week of the course.


The course is structured by assignments and every task you are asked to do will feature within one of the assignments. There are usually 3 assignments per unit per year. Most of the assignments include practical performances that are assessed by your tutor.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 06 September 2016

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