Years 10 & 11 Curriculum - Dance

AQA 8236

Dance is a powerful and expressive subject which is embodied through the new GSCE course; it will encourage your child to continue to develop their creative, physical, emotional and intellectual capacity, whatever their previous experience in the subject. Therefore, it is not essential to currently dance outside of school, although the majority of students will bring some previous experience of dance to the course.

The new specification recognises the role of dance in young people’s lives and as a result, students will study a range of dance styles. The course realises that most GCSE Dance students choose dance for the practical rather than theoretical focus, the course weighting for assessment being 60% practical and 40% written paper.


Component 1: Performance and choreography; Total component 60%

What is assessed


  • Performance of two set phrases set by AQA.
  • Duet/trio performance between 3½ - 5 minutes.

How performance is assessed

Internally marked and externally moderated


  • 30% of GCSE
  • 40 marks (12 marks for set phrases, 24 marks for duet/trio performance and 4 marks for mental skills and attributes in both performances)

Solo performance detail
Through study and practice of the two selected set phrases (selected from: Breathe, Flux, Shift and Scoop, set by AQA), students will perform as a soloist.

Duet/trio performance detail

The dance must include the two set phrases not used for the solo performance. The dance will be a collaboration between the class teacher and the students. It will be 3½ - 5 minutes in duration.


Group choreography – a group dance for 2 to 5 dancers (3 – 3½ minutes)

How performance is assessed

Internally marked and externally moderated


  • 30% of GCSE
  • 40 marks

Component 2: Dance appreciation

What is assessed

  • Knowledge and understanding of choreographic processes and performing skills.
  • Critical appreciation of own work.

How it is assessed

  • 40% of GCSE
  • Written exam: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • 80 marks

Choreography detail

Create and complete a group dance for 2-5 dancers for a minimum of 3 minutes from one stimulus (starting point) from the five options from the paper relating to: words, poem or a piece of text, a photograph/image, a prop, accessory or object, a feature of the natural world, an everyday activity or topical or historical event set by AQA each year.

Students then respond creatively to the stimulus to choreograph their own complete dance which: includes an aural setting (accompaniment); includes action, spatial, dynamic and relationship content, which communicates their own choreographic intention including: idea, mood and meaning.

Documenting the choreography

In addition, students must complete a Programme note which explains their choreographic intent. This is a non-assessed prescribed requirement of the course.

Critical appreciation of the dance anthology – professional dance works

Questions: based on students' own practice in performance, choreography and of the GCSE anthology.

Section A: relates to the knowledge and understanding of choreographic processes and performing skills. Questions will relate to a given stimulus for students to write a response.

Section B: relates to the critical appreciation of own work. Questions will relate to students’ own experience of performance, or choreography or both from within the course.

Section C: relates to the critical appreciation of professional works and students will answer questions relating to the GCSE Dance anthology.

Students must be able to critically analyse, evaluate, identify similarities and differences, and explain and justify their own opinions with reasoning.


The anthology contains the following professional set works:

Artificial Things, Stopgap Dance Company, choreographer Lucy Bennett

A Linha Curva, Rambert Dance Company, choreographer Itzik Galili

Infra, The Royal Ballet, choreographer Wayne McGregor

Shadows, Phoenix Dance Theatre, choreographed by Christopher Bruce

Within Her Eyes James Cousins Company, James Cousins

Emancipation of Expressionism Boy Blue Entertainment, Kenrick H2O Sandy


Requirements for Examinations:

Suitable dance clothing:

Girls: black well-fitting leotard, black tights (fitted black dance shorts optional) and bare feet

Boys: black track suit bottoms, fitted black t-shirt (a base layer is suitable) and bare feet


Optional Course Costs

  • GCSE Dance t-shirt to be worn in class approx. £10.
  • Trips/workshop opportunities may be offered in addition to curriculum time.


Department Requirements:

  • Students must always be fully equipped each lesson, which includes kit.
  • Commitment to after school rehearsals to complete group choreography.
  • Be actively involved in dance opportunities offered in school, e.g. dancer for Year 11 choreography, participate in the House Festival of Dance.


Enquiries to:

Mrs E Fenner – Dance Teacher



Mr D Moors – Dance Teacher