Dance (KS4)

GCSE Dance aims to develop students’ knowledge in their physical skills such as flexibility and strength.  These physical skills will be developed throughout the rehearsal process to improve the quality of the students’ dance performances. Students will also develop technical skills as they explore the importance of spatial content, actions, dynamic quality of movements, timing requirements, moving in a stylistically accurate way according to the dance genre studied and applying relationship content to group dances. Throughout the course the student’s will also enhance their expressive skills by exploring the importance of facial expressions, musicality and projection of energy to engage with an audience.

This subject will explore techniques and approaches used in the rehearsal process, which contribute to an overall effective performance. Students will specifically focus on developing their awareness and understanding of mental skills, such as systematic repetition, mental rehearsal, rehearsal discipline and planning and responding to feedback through the use of mirrors, teacher and peer discussions, video and photo analysis.

Activities help to develop attributes in a dance performance such as confidence, commitment, concentration and movement memory to ensure an effective performance is achieved. The following topics are covered to enable dancers to understand how to achieve a healthy, active lifestyle as a dance performer; safe execution of dance movements, diet and nutrition, hydration, warming up and cooling down to prepare and recover from a training session and the correct dance attire. Learning about how to be healthy will benefit students into their adult lives and topics are also useful for anyone wishing to audition for careers in the performing arts industry, private dance or education sector or the media industry.

As part of the course, students will explore production features and the creation of professional dance works. This knowledge of the whole performance from costume design to staging and set will provide students with the opportunity to see how the performing arts industry operates should they decide to pursue this career path. While exploring professional works, students will be given the opportunity to critically analyse and develop evaluative qualities in their written work, which will benefit anyone interested in careers such as journalism and media broadcasting.

Component 1 Component 2


  • Set phrases through a solo performance (approximately one minute in duration)
  • Duet/trio performance (three minutes in a dance which is a maximum of five minutes in duration)


Solo or group choreography – 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)

Dance Appreciation

  • Knowledge and understanding of choreographic processes and performing skills
  • Critical appreciation of own work
  • Critical appreciation of professional works
Examination Board: AQA GCSE Dance (8236)


Internally marked and externally moderated


  • 30% of GCSE
  • 40 marks


  • 30% of GCSE
  • 40 marks

Total component 60% Non-exam assessment (NEA) marked by the centre and moderated by AQA.




  • 40% of GCSE
  • 80 marks
  • Written exam: 1 hour 30 minutes (Questions based on students' own practice in performance and choreography and the GCSE Dance anthology)

Find out more about this qualification


GCSE Dance Video