Head of Department

Miss Nadine Brenton


We expect John Warner students to participate fully in dance. We want students to enjoy dance by being creative and using their imagination, and we hope students achieve their full potential in dance and can flourish as performers. 

Disciplinary Concepts

  • The Dance department works to promote high standards of performance in aesthetic activities.
  • Students undertaking examination courses are encouraged to strive for high academic achievement
  • We aim to provide opportunities for all our students to voluntarily participate in dance outside the compulsory curriculum.

Big Questions

  • Am I a confident performer?
  • Do I have a positive attitude to dance?
  • Do I respect the values of dance?
  • Am I creative and able to choreograph my own movement?
  • Am I a team player and able to devise choreography by sharing and listening to each other?  
  • Am I physically active?
  • Do I have a healthy lifestyle?
  • Do I have a positive mindset towards the performing arts? 
  • Am I involved and engaged in dance? 

Curriculum Content

Key Stage 3 BTEC Dance (Year 9):

The year 9 course is designed as a bridging course in preparation for GCSE. The lessons are based around developing students' technique in a range of dance styles. These genres include: contemporary, street dance, jazz, ballet, commercial, and musical theatre. This will allow the students to have a broader knowledge of both the technical skills and history behind the dance. 

In year 9 the course is focused on improving students' confidence and self-esteem. This is demonstrated with many performance opportunities, to allow students to become familiar with performing to a live audience. Some of these events would involve: the December dance showcase, competitions, Arts Festival in summer term, as well as fetes, fairs, and workshops. Previous groups have won the KS3 East Heats of The Great Big Dance Off and performed in the love Hoddesdon St. Georges Day. 

Dance is essentially a creative platform with the added benefit of helping students to build confidence and keep fit. From year 9, students will be taught choreography in a variety of dance genres, learn about professional works, perform as part of a group and take on choreographic challenges. If students have a passion for dance and enjoy it as a hobby, choosing this subject will help to build skills and knowledge of dance too.

Students should understand that this is a performing arts subject and know that they will be involved in performances both during the school day and evening events. 

Key Stage 4 BTEC Dance (Year 10):

The BTEC Level 1/2 Tech Award in Performing Arts- Dance is a 2-year course, for learners that want to build their technical and performance skills. They will expand their knowledge on different choreographer’s repertoire covering a variety of different dance styles from contemporary, ballet, musical theatre, jazz and street dance. Classes will cover theory elements to dance, by understand the lifestyle and opportunities for a dancer and choreographer. Plus, researching choreographers work and presenting their findings as a case study. This will allow students to achieve broader knowledge and understanding on the performing arts industry.

The course is broken down into three units. Two are coursework based with practical assessments each term, these are both covered in year 10 and the units interrelate together. The practical assessments at the end of each term will be assessed to a live audience, followed by coursework that creates a final portfolio for each dancer. The units covered in year one are as follows: 

Topic 1: A day in the Life of a Dancer, with a focus into flexiiblity training
Topic 2: An introduction to choreography for different dance styles
Topic 3: Ballet- with a focus in Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake
Topic 4: Contemporary- with a focus in Alvin Ailey's Revelations
Topic 5: Modern TheatreJazz- witha  focus in Bob Fosse's Chicago. 
Topic 6: Development of performance skills and techniques through a variety of dance genres, in preparation for showcases. 
Topic 7: A practical exploration of how others make performance material

Key Stage 4 BTEC Dance (Year 11):

In year 11, you have an external exam that challenges your choreographic skills, allowing you to work in small groups to device your own final showcase, based on a given theme. To be successful on this course, punctuality and being a team player is crucial. The final unit requires you to work as a team, where you are relying on each other to contribute ideas, initiate choreography and support one another. During this unit you are provided with a set theme and target audience to base your piece on. Your final dance choreography can be a minimum of 8 minutes and a maximum of 15 minutes. This means stamina, strength and movement memory are required on this course. There are three set writing tasks to support your choreography. This unit allows you to take ownership for your own learning and allow you to present all skills and technique you have learnt throughout the process. Students feel proud that they have accomplished choreographing their own piece. To prepare for this exam, students sit a mock exam, with dance pieces presented in the December showcase to a live audience. 

Topic 1: Mock exam that is assessed in the December Showcase
Topic 2: Component 3 exam begins in January with work handed in by May. 

Key Stage 5 BTEC Dance (Year 12):

The Level 3 Extended Diploma in Dance is a 2-year course, and is equivalent to 3 A-levels.   This course is designed for dancers who aspire to make dance their professional career; be it working in the West End, dancing for companies, cruises, cabaret shows, or even dancing alongside their favourite pop artist. There are many options for a professional career in dance and this two-year course will provide the high quality dance training needed to set solid foundations in Commercial Dance, Jazz, Musical Theatre, Classical Ballet, Tap, Choreography, Community Dance, Fitness and much more. As well as improve performance skills with performance opportunities including showcases and competitions.  

Unit C:Is broke down into 3 practical sub-categories

C.7- Exploring Performing Styles
Students will have practical lessons in a variety of dance styles and will be assessed based on two contrasting dance genres looking closely at their technical and performance skills.
C.8- Creating Performance Material.
Students are to devise a solo piece based upon a chosen stimulus. Once pieces are choreographed dancers take on the role as director. They will teach their piece to another dancer and present their pieces using dance for camera. Here they can show their creativity by editing a mini dance movie...outside of the dance studio!
C.9- Performing as a Dancer as Part of an Ensemble.
Students will be working on a final dance piece allowing them to work with both their teacher and peers. Dancers are expected to approach rehearsals with a mature engagement and discipline, demonstrating the ability to work collaboratively within rehearsals.

Unit F- The Performing Arts Industry.
Students are to create a case study exploring the main issues and opportunities in the performing arts industry, and how they affect the future in relation to an individual’s practice. The module focuses on the future of the industry, but also takes into account historical and contemporary developments.


Key Stage 5 BTEC Dance (Year 13):

Unit G- Personal Performing Arts Profile
In this unit, learners should explore and develop the skills to progress in the performing arts industry, including:

  • creating material such as personal statements and CVs
  • Performance showreels
  • relating individual skills to progression

Unit H- Collaborative Performing Arts Project
Learners will undertake a large-scale project in collaboration with peers. Students will work within the community to create a dance company to allow students to explore sharing creative ideas and refining performance material. There will be opportunities for the dance company to produce work in preparation for workshops and showcases within the community.  

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