Key Stage 4

What is GCSE Dance about?

Dance is both exhilarating and liberating to watch or do. The instinct to dance is fundamentally joyous and no matter how hard you try you can’t get away from that for long! Dance uses movement symbolically as a form of human expression. GCSE Dance is both physical and expressive, it promotes fitness and well-being. You will enjoy GCSE Dance if you want to study a subject that is both practical and creative, and if you enjoy working individually and as part of a team.


What will I learn and how will I learn it?

Component 1: Performance and Choreography

What is assessed?


Pupils choose 2 out of 4 set phrases to present for solo assessment (approximately one minute in duration)


Pupils use the remaining 2 set phrases to develop a duet or a trio group performance (approximately three and a half minutes duration


Pupils choose one task from a list set by AQA and choreograph either a solo (two to two and a half minutes) or a group dance for two to five dancers (three to three and a half minutes).

How is it assessed?
Internally marked and externally moderated.


30% of GCSE

40 Marks – 15 marks for set phrase solo performance and 25 marks for duet/trio performance


30% of GCSE

40 Marks

Total component



Component 2: Dance appreciation

What is assessed?

  • Knowledge and understanding of choreographic processes and performing skills.

  • Critical appreciation of own work.

  • Critical appreciation of professional works.

How it is assessed

  • 40% of GCSE

  • Written exam: 1 hour 30 minutes

  • 80 marks


Based on the pupils’ own practice in performance and choreography and the AQA dance anthology


How will I be taught?

You will be taught by a mixture of whole-class teaching, practical dance exercises, practical performances and written work. Workshops are provided and led by current practitioners and pupils also get the chance to talk to dancers and choreographers in pre and post-performance talks during dance visits. Use of Lighting, Sound, Digital Camera and Video recording equipment are all common practice within the Dance Department.



There are many things you can go on and do with a GCSE in Dance. The course provides you with a range of skills to progress further in your education. These skills include developing a creative and confident mind, teamwork skills that allow you to work closely with others and perform under pressure, and skills that enhance an appreciation of art and culture where critique and analysis are used to develop questions and justify thoughts.

You could go on to take an AS or A Level in Dance or Performance Studies, or a Vocational A Level in Performing Arts or a BTEC National Certificate or Diploma in Performing Arts. This qualification, if further studied, can also provide employment opportunities in such careers as an entertainer or a dancer.


Examination Board