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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.


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.  Watch the highlights of the dance department at Varndean School and what we have to offer on our GCSE and BTEC courses

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

Events and Activities 

Varndean Dance show December and May each year

Let's Dance Eastbourne - March this year  

Lets's Dance - Brighton Dome March each year 

Frequent workshops with visiting professional dance artists

Inter-school dance competitions

Dance Enrichment week - July ( west end show visit and professional dance workshops throughout the week)

Extra-curricular activities 

Please follow the  link link for the dance extra curricular timetable

Students also have the unique opportunity to study for a Dance Leadership Award that they complete in their own time. 


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Twitter: @Varndeandance