There’s nothing wrong with fear; the only mistake is to let it stop you in your track.” Twyla Tharp
In an ever-changing world, Dance remains a key and constant aspect of society. From dance competition shows, to dance for health to Tik Tok trends, Dance remains a subject that everyone has contact with.
The fundamentals of Dance maintain creativity, intellectual stimulation and challenge at their core and we believe that Dance can play an integral part in a student’s education.
Dance is fundamentally different to most other subjects; by being a practical art form, it offers an exploration of self and art, allowing dancers to have the freedom to explore, perform, choreograph and appreciate.
Dance at Harris Garrard Academy allows students to access a range of different dance styles, in order to encourage the creative learning process and find an aspect of Dance students can truly connect with in their own lives. With Dance posing a range of physical, spiritual and mental benefits, students benefit from studying a subject that allows for physical, mental, spiritual and creative development.
Harris Garrard Academy follows a three-year Key Stage 3 Dance curriculum and a two-year Key Stage 4 Dance curriculum. This gives the benefit of developing a curriculum in greater depth and provides depth to the students' experiences giving enough time to fully explore creative tasks and develop performance and appreciation skills, whilst recognising key styles that student find accessible. It does not assume the varying prior knowledge from primary education and it has been created in order to develop skills and knowledge through topics the students will find enjoyable and beneficial to their learning. It highlights the necessity for depth in fewer areas and allows for a strong understanding of concepts and topics.
Dance is for everybody. I believe that the dance came from the people and that it should always be returned to the people.” Alvin Ailey
Key Stage 3 overview
At Key Stage 3, the units are taught consecutively, after which they rotate with Music; students who have completed Music then come to learn Dance. Using this method allows for depths to the students’ experiences, providing sufficient time to fully explore tasks and develop their music and dance-based skills. The schemes designed aim to tailor to all abilities and follows and broad variety of styles and themes set out in the long-term plan.
Using the format of a rotation also allows for the exploration of similar subject specific and transferable skills in multiple different contexts. The knowledge and skills required for both the Dance and Music strands - such as rhythm, timing, aural skills, appreciation and creativity - can then be interleaved throughout the year, for optimal knowledge retention throughout the rotations between strands and further developing of these core skills.
Key Stage 4 overview
At Key Stage 4, students have the option to study GCSE Dance. The dancers experience live Dance and recorded Dance work as well as choreographing, performing and appreciating continued from Key Stage 3. The aim is to teach the GCSE content as much as possible through practical application, whilst supporting knowledge through theory lessons. The AQA GCSE Dance course specification is covered, which allows to the study of various dance styles, themes and performances as well as critical appreciation and choreographic developments.
You can download Knowledge Organisers for each year group from our Knowledge Organisers page.
For queries about the Dance at KS4 curriculum please contact Natasha Baker-Wells firstname.lastname@example.org.
Further details of the curriculum can be found below.
In Year 7, students start their Dance journey by looking at safe practice. This includes being able to explain the rationale of safe practice and safe execution and demonstrating it through hydration, nutrition, warm up, cool down and appropriate dancewear. Students will then learn of contemporary modern dance, Alvin Ailey and the components of dance; actions, space and dynamics. Students will then learn of physical skills and the importance and difference these make in a dance. Finally, students will explore samba history and technique whilst furthering their understanding physical skills and the components of dance.
In Year 8, students continue their Dance journey by looking at jazz dance. This includes being able to perform and explain varying relationships in jazz dance, whilst understanding the history and impact on jazz dance of Bob Fosse. Students will then learn of Gumboot dance and its development into stepping. This will continue as they look deeper into the history of Gumboot and the impact it has. Students will be focusing on mental skills both in rehearsal and performance. Finally, they will look at dance for camera pieces within film, specifically looking at ‘Footloose’. Students will be able to explain the plot and analyse the costume, staging and use of dancers within. They will also be able to develop their technical skills to ensure accurate performance.
In Year 9, students continue their Dance journey by looking at dance for camera pieces within music videos, specifically looking at ‘Thriller’. This includes being able to explain the plot and analyse the lighting and use of camera within the dance and understanding Michael Peters role in music video choreography. This will be studied in conjunction to expressive skills and their impact on performance. Students will then learn of hip-hop dance and its sub-styles and history. Students will be able to learn, identify and understand the use of choreographic devices in their unit before using them to their own dances from a stimulus at the end of their journey.
In Year 10, students continue their Dance journey and delve into GCSE by re-looking at safe practice. This includes being able to explain the rationale of safe practice and safe execution and demonstrating it through hydration, nutrition, warm up, cool down and appropriate dancewear in much greater depth. This reinforces their theoretical work which will re-establish the components of movement. This then develops into looking at choreographic work including devices, structuring, aural setting, performance environment and choreographic processes, in preparation for their creation of their own dances in Year 11.
Students will then learn the set phrases and duet in preparation for Year 11 non-examination assessment, whilst developing their own knowledge of performance skills (physical, technical, expressive and mental) alongside knowledge of the set works; ‘A Linha Curva’, ‘Within Her Eyes’, ‘Shadows’ and ‘Artificial Things’. Here students will learn to identify, describe and explain the feature of production (costume, staging, lighting, props, dancers, aural setting) in each set work as well as the choreographic content in preparation for the exam in Year 11.
Year 11 continues the dance journey at GCSE by continuing their knowledge of set works; ‘Infra’ and ‘Emancipation of Expressionism’. Here students will learn to identify, describe and explain the feature of production (costume, staging, lighting, props, dancers, aural setting) in each set work as well as the choreographic content in preparation for the exam in Year 11. Year 11 will complete their non-examination assessment in performance by demonstrating their set phrases and duets learned in Year 10, focusing on their performance skills (physical, technical, mental and expressive skills).
Year 11 will then develop and perform their own choreographies using choreographic processes, devices, aural setting, performance environment, components of dance and structuring. These are based on stimuli set by the exam board AQA. Finally students will recap all the knowledge learned over the two years in preparation for the summative theory exam in June.
Dance develops creative, imaginative, physical, emotional and intellectual capacities - transferable skills which can be applied to a wide range of careers. Listed below are some examples of specific careers in dance:
- Professional choreographer
- Professional dancer
- Rehearsal director
- Dance teacher- private dance sector
- Dance teacher- within primary/secondary education
- Dance lecturer
- Dance education officer - community/professional company
- Stage management
- Theatre management
Find out more about the careers programme at Harris Garrard Academy.