We aim for our students to understand there are breath-taking moments in dance. For many of our students, we hope they will experience that emotional intensity and visceral energy. Lessons focus on choreographing, performing and appreciating dance. Our students feel safe and empowered to explore creativity through our Alderbrook Dance Family ethos which mirrors our school’s values of ambition, bravery and kindness. Younger dance students can choose to be mentored by an older dancer, which helps to create a sense of belonging to a supportive learning dance community. It is important to us that our students understand the transferable skills of collaboration, creativity, grit and resilience that our subject can offer. We want our students to challenge their physical, expressive, technical and mental skills through experiencing dance from different cultures and styles. Schemes of work and learning experiences aim to encourage students to ‘see beneath the surface’ when exploring a stimulus, to feel passionate about creating work that can connect to politics, society, technological advances, history and artistry.
The department’s facilities include a fully sprung dance floor, mirrored wall, surround-sound speakers and a high definition television screen. We also have a computer room, editing suite and a relaxation area. This area can serve a purpose when pupils are rehearsing for performances and they need to ‘take two’. The dance environment has been described as a place ‘to breathe’, a place where our students feel they can be expressive and proud of their identity.
Dance is offered on a rotation basis in Year 7 within their Physical Education lessons and groups are set on ability. Students study a range of styles and begin their time with us learning about dance from other cultures. As students progress through the year, they begin to learn the craft of creating sequences of movement. Students gain experience of performing to their peers from the very early stages and learn how to support each other through positive and constructive feedback.
In Year 8, Dance is delivered fortnightly as a Performing Arts subject to mixed ability groups.
Students begin the year with a Streetdance project, moving progressively through the year to learn about how historical and social themes can be expressed through choreography. By the end of Year 8, students are equipped to create dance pieces with meaning. They are encouraged to increase their levels of confidence and self- reflection through performance assessments and evaluation.
Assessments take place every term and are usually in the form of a peer performance. However, the learning process to performance is significantly valued therefore, pupils receive formative feedback on their creativity, collaborative learning skills as well as their ability to reflect on their work and appreciate the work of others.
Pupils are offered the opportunity to perform their classwork in the termly Dance productions to an audience of families and friends.
Our current KS4 courses are:
AQA Examination Board: GCSE Dance
There are two components in GCSE Dance:
Performance & Choreography and Dance Appreciation
In Performance, you will learn about the skills required to develop physical, technical, expressive attributes and mental focus. You will also learn about safe working practice. In Choreography, you will learn how to respond creatively to an externally set stimulus, to choreograph your own complete dance.
In Dance Appreciation, you must be able to critically analyse, interpret and evaluate your own work in performance and choreography and demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of professional practice in six set works in the GCSE Dance Anthology.
We take pride in our extra-curricular opportunities:
Studying and training in Dance can lead onto a career in the industry ranging from positions where dance is fundamental to the role or where it can be streamlined within a position, to support a range of professional occupations.
Choreographer, Dancer, Dance Teacher, Community Dance Practitioner, Dance/Arts Development Officer, Dance Education Specialist, Dance Film Maker, Dance Movement Therapist, Dance Critic, Dance Lecturer/Researcher, Stage Lighting, Choreologist, Pilates Instructor, Dance Agent, and Nutritionist for Dancers.
Other qualities and key skills that can be gained from studying Dance: Grit & Perseverance, Respecting others & Collaboration, Applying Creative Thinking and Aspirational skills.
For further information; please contact Ms Manghnani