Dance GCSE

AQA 8236

Dance is a powerful and expressive subject which encourages students to develop their creative, physical, emotional, and intellectual capacity, whatever their previous experience in the subject. This specification recognises the role of dance in young people’s lives and students will study a range of dance styles and style fusions. Apart from the solo performance, they can choose any style in which to perform and choreograph, providing it meets the assessment criteria.

Dance is offered as an IGCSE option in Years 10 and 11 only. 

Dance is an ART, paint your dream and follow it!

What will I learn?

Performance Knowledge and understanding skills of performance – Physical skills, technical skills, Expressive skills, Mental skills, Safe working practices (during the performances), Mental skills process, Safe working practices process.

Choreography Knowledge and understanding skills of choreography- action content-dynamic content-Spatial content- Relationship content- Choreographic Process-Structuring devises and form, Choreographic Devises-Aural settings- Performance environments- Communication of choreographic intents.

Dance Appreciation Through written communication and use of appropriate terminology, students must be able to critically analyse, interpret and evaluate their own work in performance and choreography and demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of professional practice in the six set works in the GCSE Dance Anthology.

To critically appreciate professional works through describing, analysing, interpreting, evaluating, and reflecting, students must know and understand:

  • the similarities and differences between the defining characteristics of each dance (as above)
  • the contribution of choreography (as above), performance and features of production to the audience's understanding of the work
  • the relationships between choreography, performance, and features of production (as above) and the ways in which these have been used together to enhance audience understanding of the choreographic intention
  • the purpose or significance of different performance environments in which the dance was created and performed

Curriculum Content

Component 1: Practical Performance (Performance and Choreography 60%)

Assessment Task 1: Performance The performance task is marked out of 40 marks. Each student must complete both parts of the task:

  • Solo performance (12 marks)
  • Duet/trio performance (24 marks)

Assessment task 2: Choreography The choreography task is marked out of 40 marks. Students must demonstrate their creative response to a choice of one stimulus, from a prescribed task list set by AQA. The choreography must be a complete dance, including movement material and a selected aural setting.

Component 2: Dance Appreciation Theoretical Performance (40% of the qualification)

This component is the written exam paper of one and a half hours, set in the summer of the year of certification. The question paper has three sections and covers the assessment objectives AO3 and AO4. The exam will be marked out of 80.


How will GCSE Dance help me beyond GCSE?

GCSE Dance helps to develop students' skills, knowledge and understanding of choreography through which they can communicate ideas, thoughts and meaning drawn from a range of dance styles. It develops a critical appreciation of dance in its physical, artistic, aesthetic, and cultural contexts.