GSCE Dance

Specialism: Dance

Syllabus Title:GCSE Dance
Exam Board: AQA

GCSE Dance aims to give students the opportunity to develop:

  • Knowledge and understanding of choreographic processes and performing skills

  • Physical, expressive and technical skills

  • Collaborative and leadership skills

  • Critical appreciation of own work

  • Critical appreciation of professional dance works


GCSE Dance is a practical subject as well as having large theoretical elements. The course requires you to be fully committed in preparing for the written exam and also being dedicated to the choreographic and performance rehearsal process. This is an ideal course for those interested in dance as an art form and those that have a particular interest in analysing professional works and developing their critical and analytical skills. Students will study professional works in extensive detail from the GCSE Dance Anthology. The anthology's mix of artistic, cultural and aesthetically diverse works has been selected to broaden students' knowledge and understanding of the wide range of dance choreographed and performed in the United Kingdom today.


Component 1: Performance and Choreography (60% of final mark)

Performance – 30% of GCSE (40 marks)

  • Set phrases through a solo performance (approximately one minute in duration)

  • Duet/trio performance (three minutes in a dance which is a maximum of five minutes in duration)

    Through extensive technical training and rehearsals, students will learn how to perform a set GCSE phrase as a solo. Students will then also create a duet or trio which must be linked to a chosen theme. Students will also learn how to produce a programme note for their choreography justifying the theme in detail. Throughout the solo and group performance, students will be assessed on their physical, technical, expressive and mental skills within the performance and throughout the process. 

Choreography – 30% of GCSE (40 marks)

Solo or group choreography – a solo (two to two and a half minutes) or a group dance for two to five dancers (three to three and a half minutes)

Students will also study choreography in depth and will be required to respond creatively to an externally set stimulus, to choreograph their own complete dance. Students will also be required to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of choreographic skills by responding to questions in the critical appreciation (Component 2) written exam. Students will also produce a programme note for the assessor to justify their choreographic intentions.


Component 2: Dance Appreciation (40% of final mark – written exam - 1 hour 30 minutes – 80 marks)

Students will prepare for this written exam in lessons through practical exploration and theory based projects. Through written communication and use of appropriate terminology, students will develop their understanding of critically analysing, interpreting and evaluating 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. Students will study six professional works in their entirety and will learn to describe, analyse, interpret, evaluate and reflect on the works in response to short answer and extended writing questions within the 1 hour 30 minutes examination. 


There are several progression routes that students who achieve a 5 or above on this course could take at post-16 – including those which are available at our Sixth Form RR6:

  • BTEC National Extended Certificates and Diplomas in Performing Arts Dance or Production Arts

Performing Arts can benefit students who wish to pursue a career in the arts, media, the communications industry, law, marketing and any career which deals with the public or presentations in business.

STAFF TO CONTACT: Ms Barron (Head of Dance)