The study of Dance at Smithills School is a powerful and expressive subject that encourages all pupils to develop their creative, physical, emotional and intellectual capacity, whatever their previous experience in the subject.


Head of faculty - Mr A.Milthorpe




At Smithills School all Year 7 & Year 8 pupils have one lesson of Dance per fortnight. They begin their dance experience by exploring a range of technical, physical and expressive skills that underpin their study of contrasting dance styles and dance appreciation. Pupils study dance using action, space and gesture patterns, body shapes, mental skills, contact work and contrasts in dynamic and rhythmic patterning.


Year 7 & 8 Dance

Year 7 pupils will study key dance actions through stylistic, narrative and creative dance.  They will firstly participate and examine the importance of a dance warm up and cool down, gaining relevant knowledge to support injury prevention and improve health and well-being. Pupils will learn key skills that will support them with remembering, refining and repeating repertoire and choreography with a growing sense of artistic intention. For each area of study pupils will continually identify strengths and areas for development within their own and others’ work, whilst consistently developing their use of appropriate dance vocabulary. 


Year 9 Dance WJEC Level 2 Award in Creative and Media (Dance)

September 2018 onwards. 


This qualification is a supportive foundation for those wishing to study GCSE Dance in Year 10 & 11. This exciting qualification is devised around the concept of a ‘plan, do, review’ approach to learning where pupils are introduced to context for learning, review previous learning to plan activities, carry out activities and review outcomes and learning. This approach mirrors working in the dance industry and also provides for learning in a range of contexts, enabling pupils to apply and extend their learning. As such, the qualification provides pupils with a broad appreciation of work in the dance, creative and media industries and wider opportunities for progression into further education, employment or training. Pupils will learn how to propose and present ideas or solutions in response to dance and choreographic briefs. This is an exciting work related qualification for those wishing to enter the arts industry.


Year 10 & 11 AQA GCSE Dance​

In GCSE Dance pupils focus on the aesthetic and artistic qualities of dance and the symbolic use of movement to express and communicate ideas and concepts through the processes of performance, choreography and appreciation. The study of the new and exciting dance anthology will facilitate the development of students’ skills in performance and choreography. This part of the course will broaden their knowledge and understanding of dance with the ability to critically appraise dances of different styles and cultural influences. 


Course structure


Component 1: Performance and Choreography (60%) 

80 marks 

Performance (30%)

Pupils will learn four set phrases and perform two of them as a solo. (15%)

Pupils will perform a duet/trio demonstrating the development of the remaining two set phrases plus application of technical, physical and expressive skills. (25%)

Choreography (30%)

Pupils will devise a solo or group choreography that demonstrates selection and application of research, choreographic devices, structure, aural setting, technical, physical and expressive skills. 


Component 2: Dance appreciation (40%)

80 marks 

Pupils will be assessed on their knowledge and understanding of choreographic processes and performing skills. Pupils will also be asked to critically appreciate their own work and professional works. Pupils will complete a written paper for this component. Pupils will study the following six professional works through practical and theory activities.

Dance Anthology

Artificial Things - Stopgap Dance Company 

A Linha Curva - Rambert Dance Company 

Infra - The Royal Ballet 

Shadows - Phoenix Dance Theatre 

Within Her Eyes - James Cousins Company 

Emancipation of Expressionism - Boy Blue Entertainment 

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