Performing Arts (Dance)

BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma

Course Entry Requirements

4 A*-C grades at GCSE or equivalent in at least three subjects including a 4/D in GCSE English Language.

Previous dance experience is desirable. You will be required to undertake an informal audition in the first week of the course.

If you are interested in joining the College we will arrange a meeting with an experienced subject counsellor who will help you to choose courses that best suit your ambitions and achievements.

All entry requirement details are correct at the time of publication, September 2018, however, the College may need to make some changes by September 2019 in the light of student demand, staff availability and external factors beyond the College’s control.

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What will I study?

Year One Units

Unit 38 – Dance Performance, focuses on learning dances that are choreographed by your tutor in three different dance styles. You will learn how a dance is choreographed in the style of Street Dance, Contemporary and Rock and Roll and undertake workshops to learn them. At the end of each dance learnt you will perform them to an audience and be assessed on your ability to reproduce the steps and style. In addition to this you are graded on your effort and attitude to learning the dance and you keep a working diary in which you comment upon your strengths, weaknesses and goals.

The second unit, Unit 40 – Choreographing Dances, centres around your choreographing skills. Firstly you will compose a report about how dances are put together which is followed by choreographing a dance using different styles in small groups. The last assignment includes creating your own solo using various styles of dance and performing this to an audience.

The third unit, Unit 41- Dance Improvisation, focuses upon creating dances with themes and stories from chosen stimuli. This unit is unique in that it also requires you to learn about key practitioners and how to use your creative spontaneity to develop and choreograph dance performances.

Year Two Units

This second year units include

Unit 42 – The Healthy Performer, this unit involves learning about how the dancer’s body works in performance, dance injuries and prevention and healthy eating for a dancer. You will compose a report on how the body works in performance, put a fitness programme together which you will try out in our very own college gym and prepare a presentation on dance injuries and diet for a dancer.

The second unit studied is entitled Unit 7 – Performing to an Audience. In this unit you will undertake a dance in education project in which you will visit a local primary school to perform a dance that you have choreographed on a given theme. This is followed by a workshop with the primary school children. This unit is great fun and the children are always very excited about seeing our performances.

The last unit you will undertake is called Unit 54 – Dance Appreciation. In this unit you will learn about two particular choreographers, write a report about them, perform in their dance styles and choreograph a dance in groups based on a combination of their styles. The choreographers you will study are Lea Anderson and Siobhan Davies. The last performance will be performed in the annual dance show as part of your assessment.

What skills do I need?

  • Enthusiasm
  • Commitment
  • Energy

Examining Board


Why should I study this course?

You should choose to study dance if you enjoy learning and creating performances in modern dance. It is a very lively practical course with many opportunities for performances most of which form part of your assessment. As well as contemporary dance you will study the elements of many different dance styles such as street dance, contemporary, rock ‘n’ roll and physical theatre.

The best quality this course has is that you only need a keen interest in dance, bags of enthusiasm and a willingness to learn. However, if you are experienced in dancing already your skills will be put to good use especially in the units that require you to choreograph.

The course is 80% practical and 20% theoretical in the first year and for anyone who wants to progress to the second year is it 70% practical and 30% theoretical so for anyone who loves dancing this is a great choice. The Advanced Subsidiary Diploma Performing Arts – Dance is equivalent to one AS Level in the first year and a full A Level in the second so you can choose other subjects to study alongside it.

How is the course assessed?

The course is structured by assignments and every task you are asked to do will feature within one of the assignments. There are usually 3 assignments per unit per year. Most of the assignments include practical performances that are assessed by your tutor.

What will this course prepare me for?

You can progress to a number of careers or higher education from this course. For example many of our students go on to university to study dance, choreography, dance therapy, creative, media and performing arts courses with great success. Other careers open to you would be roles that required outgoing, confident people who communicate to a high standard. There are many past students who have become professional dancers on cruise ships or work and perform for dance companies, dance and PE teachers, red coat entertainers, children’s entertainers and the list goes on…

Private Study

You will be given one homework task per week. This homework task will be something which requires you to think around the subject you are studying and will further your knowledge accordingly. Sometimes you may have to complete an assignment outside of lesson time which may involve rehearsing, report writing or performing.

What materials will I need to provide?

You will need to purchase some comfy clothes. It is better to dance in something that does not restrict your movement. Leotards and other dance clothes you may have worn when younger are not necessary. The course is danced in bare feet, jazz shoes or ballet pumps.

BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma in Performing Arts (Dance) is for you if:

You love to perform and are creative. If you enjoy practical work and learning new skills.

BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma in Performing Arts (Dance) is not for you if:

You are not prepared to try new dance styles out and are really shy. However, we will do our best to encourage and praise you and we are confident that you will make very quick progress with your confidence under our specialist guidance if you choose to undertake dance.