• Block 3 (Year 9)
  • Block 4 and 5 (Years 10 and 11)
  • Sixth Form

In Block 3 students take part in Dance within the curriculum, which acts as a taster for them to opt to take the BAC.

They will be choreographing, performing and evaluating, their own work and those of professional practitioners to help develop their own practice and learning. Working in groups and individually will allow them to build on important skills such as communication, independent learning and collaboration, whilst building on Dance specific vocabulary. All students are encouraged to contribute to the lesson with exciting ideas and to participate with energy and passion. We believed that this is a lively, fun and stimulating programme that appeals to both experienced dancers and those who have not yet been given the opportunity.

Nobody cares if you can't dance well. Just get up and dance. Great dancers are great because of their passion

Martha Graham


BAC Dance

Dance today is a vital art form and a wonderful medium for self-expression and personal development. Students do not have to be dancers to take Dance BAC, the curriculum is both an academic and practical pursuit for the students, developing an enquiring mind and preparing them for A Level arts subjects by:

- Analysing and discussing theatre works looking at meaning, intention, narrative and design
- Developing research skills by working on an independent research project, be it looking into a choreographer or theatre company
- Developing IT skills through presentation, music editing and designing
- Involving those who may wish to work in the creative industries in this vital, modern, progressive art form
- Introducing students to boundary-breaking dance companies and artists such as DV8, Akram Khan and Rambert

Students on the Bedales Assessed Course will learn to perform, choreograph and appreciate dance in a variety of styles. Set topics include an in-depth study of a professional British dance work post-1950 and an extended specialist study resulting in a substantial written and practical response. Students are also offered the chance to work with professional dancers in workshops and are invited to attend theatre performances.  Recently students have visited Sadler’s Wells, The Mayflower and New Victoria Theatre.

Throughout the two year course, students work as critics, dancers, choreographers and directors studying dance within theatre, film and modern media. Students of the BAC are also perform in the Youth Platform, Bedales Dance Performs and Parents Day events held in our own Bedales Theatre. This course is full of passion and allows students to not only focus their own interests but also to be introduced to new areas. This exciting scheme fully prepares them for a smooth continuation into A Level Dance.

When you dance, your purpose is not to get to a certain place on the floor. It’s to enjoy each step along the way

Wayne Dyer


A Level Dance

This dynamic linear qualification in Dance encourages students to develop their creative responses and intellectual capacity, together with a variety of transferable skills, for instance; leadership, communication and team work. All of these skills regarded as essential by all higher education establishments and will follow through to into the workplace in whatever career choice a student makes.

This new specification introduced in 2016 looks at both historical and current dance practices, both of these areas are significant to develop a dance students’ knowledge of past, present and future practices. These two areas aim to inspire a lifelong passion and appreciations of dance. 

Area 1: Rooster (1991) choreographed by Christopher Bruce and Rambert Dance Company 1966-2002

Area 2: Sutra (2008) Choreographed by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and Independent Contemporary Dance Scene in Britain 2000- onwards.

The course is predominately taught in the style of contemporary dance, however, there are opportunities for students to work to their strengths in other styles, providing it meets the assessment criteria.

During class time students will learn how to perform, create and appreciate dance. There will be regular technique classes throughout the course to help develop technique and performance skills, creative class to help understand the craft of choreography and theory classes to develop the students' analytical eye. All three of these areas are just as important as each other and can be seen the assessment objectives, as follows:

  1. To perform dance through the application of physical, technical, interpretative and performance skills.
  2. To create dance by applying choreographic skills to communicate artistic intention.
  3. To demonstrate knowledge and understanding of performance and choreography from different periods and genres.
  4. To critically appreciate and assess performance and choreography through making analytical, interpretative and evaluative judgements.

The assessment objectives reflect the practical/written split, which is 50% for each. Both practical and written exam will take place at the end of the course.

Students who take Dance at Sixth Form are expected to attend other Dance opportunities outside lessons to help support their personal development. For example:

- Their own rehearsals to develop their technical and performance skills further
- Three main dance shows of the year (Youth Dance Platform, Bedales Dance Performs and Parents’ Day Dance Display)
- Variety of dance workshops and residencies led by leading practitioners of dance today
- Regular trips to the theatre to watch dance performances
- Perform as a dancer in the higher years’ exam work
- Extra dance classes on offer (Ballet, tap, modern, street and contemporary)

Dance at Sixth Form is for students who have a keen interest in developing their theoretical knowledge and understanding of Dance and interested in making links to improve both creative and technical skills in their practical work which in turn will lead to inspire a lifelong passion for Dance.

Dance within the curriculum is both an academic and practical pursuit for the students.

ISTD Ballet, Tap and Modern lessons can all be taken as extra-curricular activities with visiting peripatetic teachers. All A Level Dance students are expected to take part in the extra Ballet class to help support their A Level learning of ballet vocabulary and technique.

To dance well is to be well educated

Plato 428 - 348 BC


Dance at Bedales
Dance at Bedales
Dance at Bedales
Dance at Bedales
Dance at Bedales
Dance at Bedales
Dance at Bedales
Dance at Bedales
Dance at Bedales

Examining Board: AQA
Head of Department: Liz Wood