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Exam Board


Entry Requirements

Recent dance experience at a dance/theatre school, and/or GCSE grade 4/BTEC in dance.


  • 50% Practical Exam
  • 50% Written Exam
About this course An introduction to Dance Pathways Information FAQs Showcase

What is Dance?

Dance is an exciting subject that challenges you physically, academically and creatively. If you want to be physically active, enjoy watching live and recorded performances and want to discover more about the history and developments of dance, this is an ideal course for you.

What will I study?

The course comprises of a broad range of practical and theory work.  The practical element of the course will improve your physical and expressive skills and will equip you with the choreographic tools to craft your own creative work.  The theoretical side of the course will develop your analytical skills as you study a broad range of dances from professional repertoire, interpreting and evaluating content, creative influences, and choreographic intentions. Work will be focused on two broad areas of study, within the modern dance genre, and how they have evolved over a period of time.

You will have two practical lessons and two theory lessons a week. You will have contemporary technique classes to improve your technical and expressive skills, fitness, and range of movement, and will learn solo and quartet performance pieces.  In choreography lessons you will explore your creativity through a range of choreographic tasks starting with solo work then progressing to group pieces. In your theory lessons you will study a range of dance works created by past and current practitioners and analyse how they have used the constituent features of dance to communicate their intentions and evaluate how they respond to or reflect issues in the world around us.


Unit 1 -Practical Examination 50%

 Solo performance

Performance of a solo based on a specific practitioner demonstrating embodied knowledge of the practitioner’s movement/choreographic style.

Performance in a group

Ensemble performance in a quartet, which links practical experience with critical investigation and appreciation of one of the two areas of study.

Group choreography

Creation of a group piece through experimenting and developing ideas to craft and structure dance material, applying knowledge and understanding of choreographic process.

Unit 2 – Written Examination 50%

One 2.5 hour paper

The examination will assess your ability to analyse, reflect on and evaluate the performance and choreographic experience, including that of professional repertoire. It will also examine your knowledge of two different areas of study and two set dance works linked to the areas of study. The paper is split into a section of short answer questions and 3 essays.

What independent study will I do?

You will be set a range of independent study tasks including pre-reading, research, consolidation, analysis tasks and revision. Practical work will also form part of your independent study, primarily rehearsing and choreographing pieces. You will also expand your dance experience by seeing both live and recorded performances as well as reading recommended reviews, articles, and books.

Trips, visits and enrichments

Regular trips to see performances by a range of choreographers, some of which are complemented by practical workshops led by professional dancers

All A level dance students take part in public performances

A A level dance students take part in careers/HE workshops with professional practitioners with a range of experience

Being a part of the college dance company provides additional high-level performance opportunities in a range of dance styles

The dance company enter regional and national competitions

What can it lead to?

Students choose to study dance for a variety of reasons; it may be a passion, future career aim or perhaps to contrast two purely theoretical courses to add variety to their programme of study. Dance can be the first step towards working within the arts industry and there are numerous degree courses at universities and specialist vocational dance and performance schools to further your studies. Throughout the course you will develop a range of skills to prepare you for higher education and the working world such as research skills, time management, leadership and presentation skills. Class work and homework will be completed both independently and as part of a team.

If you wish to study dance at university, dance college or conservatoire, there are numerous options available. There are a wide range of dance courses which include Dance Studies, Choreography, Dance Science, Dance Performance, Dance and Theatre and Dance and Education. Any students who wish to carry on their dance studies into higher education will also have the opportunity to discuss courses and choreograph audition pieces with the dance staff.  Former King Edward’s students have gained places at prestigious institutions such as the RAD, Trinity Laban, Northern School of Contemporary Dance, London School of Contemporary Dance, LIPA, Arts Educational, Mountview, Urdang, Laine Theatre Arts, Ballet West, Bird College, Performers, Addict, Shockout, and London Studio Centre amongst others.

Possible careers in dance include performer, choreographer, teacher, community dance practitioner, promoter, designer, publicist, technician, physiotherapist, medical and alternative practitioner, therapist, dance writer and academic. Many students also take dance as they are passionate about it but do not want a career in it. These students are often thankful for the life skills and study skills that the course provides, which assist in their transition to degree courses such as teaching, physiotherapy, law, public relations , event management and English to name a few.

Former King Edward’s students have progressed to have successful careers in the dance sector performing in the West End and touring with Musical Theatre productions such as Hamilton, Mamma Mia, Dirty Dancing, and Message in a Bottle, touring with contemporary dance companies, running their own dance school, establishing a dance agency and becoming specialist dance teachers in secondary schools and the post 16 sector, both in Britain and abroad.


What do I wear for practical lessons?
We do not have a specific uniform, you just need to wear comfortable dance/active wear. You will have the opportunity to purchase a dance hoodie.
What dance techniques will I study?
On the A level course we study all modern/contemporary dance techniques. If you successfully audition for dance company, we cover a wider range of techniques including jazz, tap and ballet.
Will I need to do additional rehearsals outside of lessons?
Yes. You can use the dance studio when it is free to choreograph material for your own pieces and rehearse your solos and quartets. You will also dance in the group choreography of Year 13 students and will be assigned specific rehearsal sessions.
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