STRICTLY153“Dance is vital, an activity 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. It can also be a huge force for good, effectively drawing people together and leveling everyone through sheer hard work. It can speed up your heart rate, it can enliven your being, it can change your life” – Richard Alston CBE, Dance UK.

We are delighted to offer, for the first time, GCSE Dance as part of the St Edmund’s curriculum.  Dance has been a huge feature of St Edmund’s Drama productions for many years now, allowing us to perform musicals, pantomimes, re-written versions of Shakespeare with dance, music and circus skills and our spectacular annual dance events such as ‘Strictly St Edmund’s’.

Dance already plays a huge role in our GCSE and A level Drama practical examinations, allowing our pupils to explore the proximities of physical, total and musical theatre.

GCSE Dance helps pupils to develop technical and expressive skills, as well as a knowledge and understanding of dance through performance, choreography and critical appreciation of dance.  It allows pupils to experience and explore new genres and routines whilst also giving them the opportunity to work as a company, as a solo dancer, be taught how to take instruction with technical dance terms and choreograph their own work, whilst also developing an understanding of the discipline expected in the professional world.

This four unit specification enables pupils to increase their confidence and self-esteem, employ the skills of problem solving and creativity and make knowledgeable decisions about routines.  It allows pupils to demonstrate actively and physically their abilities through the controlled assessment which is worth 60% of the qualification and the practical exam, worth 20%.  A further 20% will be awarded for the written paper.

At GCSE, the department’s objectives are:CINDER088

  • To develop an understanding and appreciation of dance
  • To introduce and allow pupils to experience different genres of dance
  • To develop a working knowledge of dance technique
  • To encourage confidence and leadership when working alone or with others
  • To encourage a disciplined work ethic
  • To explore the body’s physical possibilities through expressive movement

Details of the syllabus content and requirements can be found in The Right Course.

Our GCSE Dance teacher has a background in the theatre, and has worked as a professional dancer and currently choreographs professional productions up and down the country. Her knowledge of dance genres, her experience, professional attitude and unwavering energy and enthusiasm will allow our pupils to gain an understanding of the dance world, whilst also preparing them for eventual success at GCSE level.  In addition, the school is fortunate to have the facility of a shared music and dance studio with mirrored walls, a sprung floor and high-tech music system, as well as the use of our stage and technical facilities.