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Dance has a valuable place within the curriculum as a means of expression. It is a vital part of every students' contemporary life enabling all ages, abilities and cultural backgrounds to create, perform and appreciate their work.

Please visit the gallery for more photos from the Summer Dance Show 2019.                              

Great dancers are not great because of their technique, they are great because of their passion.

MARTHA GRAHAM

Why study this subject? 

Dance is an excellent form of expression and a chance for students to work collaboratively with their peers. It helps students develop confidence, fitness and creativity. The skills students develop are transferable to many career and further education options including social development, self-awareness, confidence to perform in front of others, value of expression and creativity. Many students continue their dance training in the following areas: A level Dance, BTEC Performing Arts level 3, BA Hons Dance, MA Dance Choreography/Performance, Professional performance in dance companies, dance education, youth work, dance therapy, dance critics, Physiological courses, health and nutrition. 

Topics of Study and Assignments 

In Year 7 students learn how different dance stimuli can be used to create dance choreography in particular Egypt, Gladiators, SuperHeroes and graffitti. Students learn key dance terminology and technical aspects of movement.

In Year 8 students learn how to use props, themes and professional dance works to create movement and choreography for example; masks, Bollywood Macbeth witches and Rosas Dans Rosas . All students have the opportunity to perform, choreograph and appreciate their own and others’ work.

In GCSE Dance students look at professional dance works to inspire performances and choreography. Students work in small groups and at times as a solo performer. All students will be expected to develop their technical ability in focused technique classes in a range of dance genres. An important part of the GCSE Dance course involves students writing and talking about the dance work they see both professionally and in the studio. This helps prepare their analytical skills essential for the written exam component of the course.

In BTEC Dance students study a wide range of dance genres and learn how to create and perform a range of dance themes. Students will also look at the Performing Arts Industry, in particular the skills needed for specific job roles, how to put on a show and the collaborative skills essential to the performing arts industry.  

All students studying GCSE and BTEC courses have the opportunity to work with professional dance artists to enhance their learning on these courses.

The Team
 

Mrs H MacDonald, Head of Dance, BA HONS Dance and Related Arts, PGCE Dance, AQA - GCSE Dance moderator and examiner. Her professional interests are in boys' dance, contemporary dance, break dance and physical theatre. She is particularly interested in the work of Motionhouse Dance Theatre, Akram Khan, Hofesh Schecter and Balletboyz.

Phoebe Head: Teacher of Dance. Phoebe trained on the CAT programme, completed a degree at the London Contemporary Dance school and studied for her PGCE at Brighton university. Phoebe's interests are creating inclusive lessons, using dance as a language and inspiring students to explore their creativity through dance. As a teacher she is heavily inspired by professional companies and choreographers such as Motionhouse and Hofesh Schecter. 

Events and Activities 

Highlights include:

  • Junior and senior dance company that students audition to be part of
  • Every year we take part in Lets Dance at Brighton Dome as well as performances at Brighton University
  • Showcase of students' work alongside visiting guest performances from local youth dance companies in December and May every year
  • A professional street dance class for KS3 students
  • Students also have the opportunity to complete the Dance Leadership Award in Year 9 where they visit local primary schools and teach dance to Year 4 students.
     

     

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Extra-curricular activities 

Please view the dance extra curricular timetable for 2021-2022, which includes dance clubs for all year groups in varying dance styles. Students also have the opportunity to work with professional dancers in after school clubs on a weekly basis

 

Contact email: helenmacdonald@varndean.co.uk

Twitter: @Varndeandance 

Instagram: VS Dance