Dance

 
 
“Dance is vital, an activity both exhilarating and liberating to watch and do. The instinct to dance is fundamentally joyous and no matter how hard you try you can’t get away from that for long. It can also be a huge force for good, effectively drawing people together and levelling everyone through sheer hard work. It can speed up your heart rate, it can enliven your being, it can change your life.”
Richard Alston CBE, Dance UK

Why Dance?

At Heathfield we are proud to champion Dance and by doing so, not only give our students the opportunity to develop their dance skills, explore their ideas, imagination and grow in self-esteem and self-belief but; also to give students these all-important transferable skills which Higher Education expect and employers demand. Energy, commitment, team work, leadership, time-management, working independently, resourcefulness, not giving up, enthusiasm, loyalty, generosity with time, empathy, going the extra mile, presentation skills, co-operation, stamina and creativity. All these skills are demanded by employers of the 21st century.

'Our Performing Arts Students are at the cutting edge of skill acquisition as many ex students and their employers can testify’
 
 

As an Arts Council approved specialist arts college, we are extremely lucky to have fantastic arts facilities at our school. We have three fully fitted dance studios and a modern performing arts building. Alongside this we also have regular use of the on-site theatre the Tacchi-Morris Arts Centre where students are able to perform in a professional environment and learn about other aspects of theatre production such as lighting and sound when completing technical rehearsals alongside a professional tech team.

In KS3 students have the opportunity to experience dance once per fortnight. The aim is to provide a safe and encouraging environment in which practical dance skills can be developed exploring different themes. Across KS3 students will develop their dance knowledge through a range of different units. In each year students will explore one stimuli, one dance style and one professional practitioner. In Year 7 students will study both visual and text stimuli and how these can inspire choreography, Bollywood dance and finally ‘The Nutcracker’ by Matthew Bourne. In Year 8 students study Musical Theatre, video games and ‘Swansong’ by Christopher Bruce. Finally in Year 9 students will use war poetry as a text stimulus, dance for film and Emancipation of Expressionism by ‘Kenrick H20 Sandy.’ Dance styles explored include; Contemporary, Commercial, Ballet, Tap, Jazz and HipHop.

Lunchtime and afterschool dance clubs are also available for students to enrich their experience of dance at Heathfield and these include; Year 7, 8 and 9 dance clubs, a boys only dance company as well as style specific clubs such as; Ballet, Tap and Street/Commercial. These clubs offer our younger students an opportunity to experience dance in a fun filled environment and an exciting chance to participate in the Dance Festival show in November and the Primary Dance Show in June.

 
 

In KS4 we currently offer two different dance qualifications for students to study. These are the RSL Level 2 Performing Arts Dance and GCSE Dance.

In RSL Dance, students will study a range of dance styles and develop their performance and choreography skills. The course is very versatile and allows students to showcase their individual dance styles and students can choose any style for their assessment making it suitable for all types of dancers. The course consists of two units that students must complete across the two-year course, these include; live performance (externally assessed) and ensemble dance (internally assessed). As a vocational course students are assessed across both years and there is no end of year 11 exam. This suits students who are organised and able to meet deadlines as written coursework underpins both units. RSL is an exciting course that focuses on developing knowledge of the performing arts industry and preparing students for further study.

In GCSE dance students will experience an exhilarating course exploring physical, choreographic, expressive, and analytical skills. Students study a range of professional dance works that showcase many different dance styles including Contemporary, Hip-Hop, Samba and many more. The course is split into three main areas: performance, choreography, and appreciation. It is 60% practical (completed throughout 2 years) and 40% exam based which is completed in the year 11 summer exams. Students get the opportunity to develop their choreographic skills as solo artists or as part of a group, they also get the opportunity to perform in a duet/trio as well as a solo. The course is suited for students who have a strong foundation in dance and are looking to develop and extend their skills.

 
 

Opportunities for students;

  • World Ballet Day: All Ballet club students are off timetable for world ballet day completing a days intensive and creating a performance for Heathfield Dance Festival
  • Heathfield Dance Festival: All dance clubs and KS4 dance students performing in Tacchi-Morris Arts Centre
  • KS4 Year 11 RSL Show: Themed show performed in the Tacchi-Morris Arts Centre for students dance ensemble exam.
  • KS4 Year 11 GCSE Dance Show: Students will get to showcase and shar their work such as performance in a duet/trio, group choreography and solo performance. Performed in Tacchi-Morris Arts Centre
  • Professional Dance Workshop: For students who have opted for KS4 Dance to prepare them to work as part of a professional dance company and prepare them for KS4 Dance (lead by a professional dancer/company)
  • Primary Dance Festival: For all KS3 Dance clubs and local primary schools to come together and showcase dance from a range of ages. Tacchi-Morris Arts Centre
Performing Arts Staff
Jodi Crocker Head of Performing Arts
Jessica Gwilliam Acting Head of Dance
Lauren Hill Head of KS3 Dance
Alice Bagwell Performing Arts Teacher
Bobbie Cadden Performing Arts Teacher
Caitlin Pearce Performing Arts Apprentice

 

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