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Blackfen School for Girls

Blackfen School for Girls

Raising aspirations - releasing potential

Dance

Welcome to Dance at Blackfen School for Girls. As an evolving subject Dance is becoming increasingly popular within the school. The subject aims to focus on building students confidence through performance and creativity whilst allowing students to express their leadership and communication skills.

The subject places a strong emphasis on group work, building students team working skills. There are many opportunities for students to involve themselves in performances within school, collaborating with other subjects such as Music, Drama and PPE.

Students will learn a range of physical and technical dance skills within their first year at the school, this will progress throughout Key Stage 3. Dance is then presented as an option at Key Stage 4.

 

Key Stage 3 Dance

Dance is currently working as part of a carousel system at KS3 along with Music and Drama. Students in Years 7, 8 & 9 will spend one term studying each specialism. Each group currently has 5 lessons of Dance over the 2 week timetable.

Year 7

Term

Unit of Work

Summary

Autumn Term 1 or 2

 

An Introduction to Dance using Fairy tales

This unit focuses on introducing students to the 4 main principles of Dance; Action, Space, Dynamics and Relationships. The focus is supported by the idea of creating movement using Fairy tales and characters. This unit not only develops the learners’ creativity but also their confidence due to students performing their work to an in-class audience.

Spring Term 1 or 2

 

Dance through the Decades

Now the students have an understanding of the 4 main Dance Principles they can use these skills to create movement. This Unit looks at different styles of Dance taken from the decades such as 1920’s and 1960’s. Throughout the unit students will be looking at the historical context of the styles and how to Dance in this way. Such styles include The Charleston, Rock & Roll and Disco/Jazz Dance.

 

Summer Term 1 or 2 Dreams and Nightmares The students now have a range of choreographic and performance skills in Dance and can use these skills to independently choreograph using a theme or stimulus. This unit also requires the characterisation and performance skills the students will have learnt in Drama so they can add it to their final dance piece. Looking at the theme of Dreams and Nightmares students will use a work booklet to help them throughout the unit.

Year 8

Term

Unit of Work

Summary

Autumn Term 1 or 2

Professional Works and their Choreographers

This unit focuses on 2 professional Dance choreographers and their works. The students will study and research the choreographers and their styles of dance in detail and go on to study one of their professional dance works. Using video students will learn the movement and develop this further to create short group Dance pieces. The unit aims to help students progress in their Dance technique and their creative abilities.

The 2 professional works we look at are:

  • Ghost Dances- Christopher Bruce
  • The Nutcracker- Matthew Bourne

Spring Term 1 or 2

Cheerleading

This unit combines physical and technical dance skills such as strength, flexibility and spatial content with the movements and discipline of cheerleading. This unit requires students to work in large groups building up their trust and teamwork. The unit covers, stunt work, lifts and rhythmic movement. The students also learn how to use props such as rhythmic ribbons and pom-poms in a safe manner.

Summer Term 1 or 2 The Hunger Games Using the idea of film to influence movement the students will study The Hunger Games. The unit aims for students to work in large ‘districts’ and work closely together to create movement that doesn’t rely solely on music. Using the 4 basic choreographic methods learnt in Year 7 students will create travelling parade sequences and battle sequence that explore the use of lifts and contact work.

 

Year 9

Term

Unit of Work

Summary

Autumn Term 1 or 2

Contemporary and Urban Skills

In this unit students will focus on the technical and expressive dance skills used in Contemporary and Urban Dance Styles. The SOW is a transition into the skills that they would use in the professional dance industry and knowledge they would need to know to take the subject further into GCSE/BTEC.

When exploring skills students will create and keep a continuous log book that will review the skills they have and the improvements they are making to their technical skills.

Spring Term 1 or 2

Banksy

In this unit students will create a piece of movement work based on a picture by Banksy. Students will learn a technical study based on the ideas of anonymity and creation of graffiti, they will then complete a series of choreographic tasks to develop a piece based around Banksy’s artwork.

Summer Term 1 or 2

Using a Stimulus to create Dance This unit focuses on introducing students to a stimulus and using this to create their own dances. A stimulus is an idea that the students will research and explore. This can be anything from text, to music, to art work, to a historical event. The whole unit is ran by the students due to them leading warm ups for the class and exploring their own ideas all based on the group stimulus.

 

Key Stage 4 Dance

Blackfen School for Girls currently offers the BTEC Level 2 Tech Award in Performing Arts- Dance. This course runs over 2 years and will provide the student with lifelong skills and a progression pathway into the performing arts.

Students work closely together to form a Dance Company that will take part in Dance Skill workshops studying numerous professional Dance practitioners. The company will also create their own showcase pieces to be performed to an audience, gain an insight into the professional working world and progression opportunities into the performing arts, obtain access to numerous extra-curricular opportunities and acquire skills in letter writing, application forms, performance works and the technical aspects of Dance such as lighting and music.

Units include:

Component 1- Exploring the Performing Arts

Component 2- Developing Skills and Techniques in the Performing Arts

Component 3- Performing to a Brief

 

Extra-Curricular Dance

At Blackfen School for Girls we offer a wide range of performance opportunities through extra-curricular classes and clubs. Currently the Dance department runs a Year 7 & 8 Dance Club on Tuesday lunchtimes and a Year 9 & 10 Dance Club on a Thursday lucnhtimes. The clubs are very popular and give the students the opportunity to work and network with new people. The clubs explore a range of different dance styles and allow students to create work for performance showcases and collaborations with subjects such as music.

This year we have also launched ‘Blackfen Dance Company’ what students auditioned to be part of. The company consists of a range of Year 7, 8 and 9 students and meets every Monday night after-school. The students show commitment and build up their technical abilities in Dance. The company takes part in competitions that run throughout the academic year. In March 2017 we represented the Borough of Bexley at the London School Games competing against other boroughs in a schools dance competition. This is again running this year.

Every other year Blackfen School for Girls enter a competition called Rock Challenge giving students the opportunity to travel to new places and perform in front of other schools within the area. The show includes costumes, sets, hair and makeup.  On the alternative year the school hosts their whole school Musical where the Drama, Music and Dance department work closely together to create a Performing Arts Spectacular.