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GCSE Dance


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Hi all,

I have just been reading a thread about contemporary dance which then merged into a GCSE dance discussion.


I am interested to hear what you think about GCSE Dance. I am a non dancer with a dc who wants to go to vocational school to do ballet. DC is academic.


Now I guess if u get into a vocational school GCSE Dance is neither here nor there. But what if you didn't and wanted to keep the option of being a dance teacher in school open?


DC is in Y7. Disappointingly dance club is taught by PE teacher and DC does not consider it 'proper' dancing. Having said that the school recently put on an outstanding dance performance with mostly older children, which I assume was contemporary. ..


This is a choice we will need to make in the next couple of years....

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My daughter does well academically and her school offers btec level 2 dance. I was not happy about her doing this as i thought the level would be lower than her out of school dance and not so sure about the reputation of btecs generally. We decided she should take it though as it gives performance, creative and choreography opportunities that she can't get from her usual dance school or associate classes. It has really encouraged her to reflect on the craft of being a dancer and I think it has helped her to become a 'thinking dancer'. They do jazz and contemporary on the whole and whilst the level is not as high as she could handle it has been enjoyable and she has learnt new things. Not sure of course how gcse compares but i would imagine it would be similar in the outcomes.

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It depends what you want out of a dance course. The idea behind dance as a school subject is for students to consider how to choreograph with intention / meaning, how to use space, levels, different dynamics (speed/strength etc) in dance. It is NOT a technique training course although some good dance teachers recognise that the movements 'available' to the students improve with some technique training.


Some children who dance outside of school find dance in school frustrating because all they know from studying ballet, modern, tap, festival work etc is that skill, technique and the aesthetic is the most important. But in school it's almost the opposite. Unless a school employs a specialist dance teacher it will be taught by PE staff especially at key stage 3. There is nothing wrong with this. PE teachers will have the training necessary to deliver the curriculum requirements at key stage 3!


I really enjoyed studying dance at gcse and a-level once I had embraced the difference of it all. But as Chaperone says, it does help you become a 'thinking' dancer and makes you step outside your 'aesthetic-based' comfort zone.

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Hi sarahw


I have had long and protracted discussions regarding GCSE Dance as my DD wanted to pick it as her option, and I was not convinced that it would benefit her as her dance level outside school is much higher. 


Having spoken at length to her dance teacher at school she explained that the role of GCSE dance is to learn about dance structure, choreography, plot and interpretation of dance.  It also incompasses some anatomy and nutrition.  The dancing that they do is not about technique, but about interpretation and building a story through movement.  They need to have some dance ability as they need to perform a solo routine and a group routine that they have choreographed themselves.


At this point I agreed with my DD that it would be of benefit within her career, as often dance schools concentrate on technique and presentation but don't always discuss the motivation, emotion or interpretation of the pieces, all of which will be necessary in any dance career.


DD has already been invited to see Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake with the GCSE group and she hasn't started yr 10 yet.  Found it fascinating and enjoyed discussing it with GCSE group on coach home.


Hope that helps, and feel free to PM me if you need further info - I have the full details of the AQA syllabus and additional comments from school teaching staff.

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 Hi, I was going to post a link to a video on AQA GCSE Dance page but can't figure out how to post a link!? Can anyone help?

Anyway if you type GCSE dance into the search bar there's a few sites which will give you info about the course.

I found the video under 'Why choose this course?' or something along those lines.

Sorry I couldn't help much, good luck making decisions!

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