Head of Department: mrs alexander

The intention of Dance at St. Bernard's is to create a thinking dancer who by the end of KS5 can perform dance that reflects choreographic intention through the application of physical, technical, interpretative and performance skills; create dance applying choreographic skills to communicate artistic intention; demonstrate knowledge and understanding of performance and choreography from different periods and genres and critically appreciate own work and assess professional performance and choreography through making analytical, interpretative and evaluative judgements.


This will be executed through holistic methods whereby theory is explored through practical activities and practical ideas are cemented through theoretical tasks, as well as being explored in their own right. Students will be exposed to a number of relevant practitioners and their works, that will not only provide inspiration for their own creativity but also provide fuel for analytical conversations and written tasks. Where possible, the use of visiting practitioners and the viewing of live performances will be used to support their studies and there are opportunities for students to share their work with and lead younger students in order to help them understand their craft better.


Students will feel enriched from the exposure to a theatrical course that allows them to connect with their own bodies physically, mentally and spiritually due to the artistic nature of the subject. They will be inspired by the practitiones and professional works they have studied, and they will have developed in both knowledge and skill that will be evidenced through their classwork and assessments.


  • Study Emancipation of Expressionism. 
  • Study Artificial Things. 
  • Look at features of production for both.


  • Introduction to ASDR- use content from professional works. 
  • Motif development and choreographic terms. Responding to given stimuli. 
  • Focus on structuring devices and form as well as choreographic devices.


  • Safe working practices- warm up/cool down + appropriate attire. 
  • Technical and physical skills including: accuracy of actions; timing; rhythm and style. 
  • Look at safe execution of moves and when working with others. 
  • Expressive skills including: projection; focus; spatial awareness; facial expression and sensitivity to other dancers. 

The topics to be covered are: 

  • Study Shadows- critical appreciation of the features of production. 
  • Study A Linha Curva- analyse features of production. 
  • Exam style questions on features of production. 
  • Understand the process of research and improvising. 
  • Workshops exploring stimuli and starting points. 
  • Collaborative group choreography on one given stimuli. 
  • Understand spatial design- pattern, formation, pathways, directions, levels and size of movement. 
  • Workshops that explore use of props. 
  • Devise a class piece that includes: entrances and exits; chairs; scooters; phrases from A Linha Curva and a fusion of dance styles. 
  • Safety of hydration. 
  • Technical and physical skills: posture; alignment; balance; coordination and control. 
  • Safety when using props. 
  • Technical and physical skills: flexibility; stamina; extension; mobility; isolation and strength. 


  • Compare and contrast Emancipation of Expressionism and Artificial Things. 
  • Exam style questions on own experience of performance. 
  • Compare and contrast Shadows and A Linha Curva. 
  • Model writing a programme note for duet/trio performance. 


  • Focus on learning the set phrases Breathe and Shift- analysis of A/S/D content and link to understanding of transitions; highlights; climax and phrasing. 
  • Understanding the importance of choreographic intent. 
  • Revisit importance of ASDR. 
  • Work with students to develop content of two set phrases- Flux and Scoop. Develop student input and model choices for aural setting. 
  • By end of term, choose a stimulus from AQA set task list and begin research process. 


Assessment task: Solo Performance 

  • Re-cap safe execution in regard to the set phrases.
  • Understand the importance of: movement memory; commitment; concentration; confidence; systematic repetition; mental rehearsal; response to feedback; capacity to improve and planning of rehearsals.
  • Practice to camera and teacher assessment of live performance.

Assessment task: Duet/Trio Performance 

  • Re-cap warm up. 
  • Focus on: musicality; sensitivity to other dancers and communication of choreographic content, plus the importance of safe execution and challenging movement material. 
  • Peer/teacher feedback on technical, physical and expressive skills. 
  • Teacher assessment of live performance.
  • Compare and contrast Infra and Within Her Eyes. Write a programme note to support own choreography.
  • Consolidate previous learning of six professional works.

Section A - preparation to respond to hypothetical stimuli. Practice writing about choreographic processes and performing skills. 

Section B - revision on analysis of own work within the course either performance or choreography. 

Assessment task: Choreography. Devise a timetable to complete choreographic work. 

Consider aural setting and performance environment. Use assessment criteria to guide. Re-visit choreographic processes. Teacher assessment of live performance.