We follow the AQA specification at Bilborough Sixth Form College. You’ll be taught in a dedicated dance studio, with a sprung floor, mirrored walls, and portable sound and lighting equipment. Practical exams take place in our wonderfully equipped Theatre. It is desirable, but not essential, that you have dance experience – and you must show enthusiasm, passion and a willingness to experiment with different styles. To strengthen your love for dance we facilitate workshops with companies such as Rambert Dance Company, Netherlands Dance Theatre and West End performers and theatre visits throughout the year, such as Move It, Amsterdam and London. If you’re serious about a career on the stage, or behind the scenes, this course may be taken alongside Drama and BTEC Extended Certificate in Performing Arts Level 3.
To study Dance at Bilborough, you need a grade 4 in GCSE English.
Q: Do I need to have done GCSE Dance to do A-Level Dance?
You do not need to have completed GCSE Dance to study A-Level, however, it would be useful and help you understand the structure of the course. It would be equally beneficial if you have or are attending outside dance lessons in any style to supplement your dance technique.
Q: What do I have to wear in practical lessons?
All practical lessons are taught in our performance studio, which has a sprung floor and mirrored wall. You are required to wear dance attire that allows you to move freely, for example a leotard, unitard, dance tights or tracksuit bottoms, and a plain vest or T-Shirt. You will be given the option to buy an exclusive personalised Bilborough Dance T-Shirt. You will be expected to dance bare-footed or wear foot thongs; soft trainers can be worn for street dance elements. No earrings, bangles, bracelets, large rings or uncovered body piercings, and hair must be tied back and out of the face.
Q: Which other subjects can I take with A-Level Dance?
Students who have taken A-Level Dance have studied it alongside a wide range of other subjects including A-Levels in Maths, Chemistry, English literature and Art. Typically, most students who study A-Level Dance choose one other performing arts qualification to study, such as BTEC Extended Certificate in Performing Arts or A-Level Drama, but it really depends on what type of full programme you would like to study during your two years at Bilborough. A-Level Dance gives you the opportunity to learn in a practical way and be able to express yourself and is unique in its content. Former students who have applied for Cambridge have told us; during their interviews the interviewee was really impressed that they had taken Dance as an A-Level.
Q: Which Dance styles do you teach?
During your practical lessons at Bilborough, you will be introduced to a variety of contemporary dance styles including Graham technique, Release technique and Jazz Dance styles including street dance and Fosse. It is important to remember that studying A-Level Dance at a sixth form college is not the same as training at a vocational dance school. Therefore, we recommend that you attend classes outside of college to supplement your training.
Q: What are the progression routes for A-Level Dance?
Students that have studied A-Level Dance have progressed in many different pathways. Firstly, we have had dancers who have gone onto further professional dance training at institutions such as London Contemporary Dance School, Trinity Laban, Urdang Academy, Stella Mann and Performers College. Additionally, many of our former students favoured continuing their dance development in a university environment and attended courses at Middlesex Uni, Chichester Uni, Coventry and Leicester DeMontfort. Other students who decided not to continue their dance development were successful at gaining places on other courses around the country, with A-Level Dance contributing to the number of UCAS points attained.
Q: How much of the course is practical?
The final assessments in this subject make up fifty percent practical and fifty percent theory, however we teach over three, one and a half hour sessions a week, two of these classes are practically based; one is in choreography and one is in technique and repertoire and these are taught in our performance studio. During these sessions you will be required to perform in front of your peers. The third is a theory class; based on the topics of Rambert Dance Company and American Jazz Musicals, which is taught in a classroom.
Our links with HE
We are always happy to guide you on the most appropriate next steps to help you achieve your dreams. Our department has good links with Rambert Dance School, London Contemporary Dance School, Funky Studios and other conservatoires around the country. You’ll have the chance to work with professional practitioners, in Musical Theatre and Contemporary Dance and we encourage you to get involved with the thriving dance scene in the Midlands. Some of our students go on to study Dance or Performing Arts at specialist institutions or universities, such as Urdang Academy, Bird College, The Place, LIPA, London Studio Centre and Performers. These degrees or professional qualifications can lead to careers in the arts sector both on and offstage – perhaps you might become a performer, producer or choreographer, events management expert, public relations and communications specialist, leisure and tourism worker, health and fitness expert, community worker or teacher.