Dance at Lutterworth College aims to develop physical literacy, creativity, leadership and teamworking skills as well as supporting students’ general health, fitness and well-being. The benefit of dance is not only that of increased exercise, but the participation in an art form routed in technique whilst giving the opportunity for a creative outlet. We encourage individuality of styles and provide many opportunities for students to work both independently and as part of a larger group. Whilst some lessons are structured and choreography is teacher led, we also provide many opportunities for students to be autonomous and create their own choreography. We recognise the broader development of students and the importance of learning both in and outside of the classroom. Dance fully enhances the lives of our students by offering extensive extra-curricular opportunities where students collaborate across all age groups and abilities, whilst also providing memorable and enjoyable experiences that enhance their enjoyment of school life in general. Not only do we aim to equip our students with the necessary skills and resilience to succeed in a career within the Performing Arts industry but also valuable transferable skills that can be applied to any career path. The confidence gained through participation in dance helps to build social skills, increase self-esteem and the ability to communicate well within a group.
We work alongside our Church of England CHRIST values to enrich how our students experience Dance, preparing them for a life outside of education. Students are able to demonstrate these values at various points across all years in the following ways:
- Being Courageous in the way they perform infront of their peers and contribute during discussions, practical explorations and choreographic tasks
- Being Hardworking in the way they approach challenging practical and theoretical tasks
- Being Reflective in self-assessment and their Directed Improvement Reflection Time (DIRT)
- Being Inspirational through choreographic and creative tasks
- Being Supportive during group working activities and peer assessment tasks
- Being Tenacious in exploring themes that challenge their way of thinking and creativity
Key Stage 3
Dance at Key Stage 3 aims to nurture physical literacy, confidence and creativity, whilst also developing technique, movement memory, musicality and physical skills. Lessons not only prepare students for further study at GCSE level but also provides opportunities for the development of leadership, team working, problem-solving and resilience; skills that are essential for living in the wider world. Dance and Drama are studied on a rotation that changes every half term. In Dance we begin by practically exploring the underpinning theories of Actions, Space, Dynamics and Relationships. Students work in groups to choreograph a Dance using the essential Dance ‘ingredients’ whilst also developing movement memory by learning motifs choreographed and set by the teacher. Students explore theatrical Dance and how themes and stories can be communicated through movement, developing an understanding of the power of physical communication. In later studies, students develop their technical, physical and movement memory skills, performing set pieces of choreography both in groups and independently. Skills for performance is a key strand throughout the whole of KS3 and students are given the opportunity to perform and develop their confidence skills throughout each lesson. Peer and self-assessment activities are part of every lesson, enabling students to develop critical analysis skills whilst also learning how to effectively and mindfully deliver feedback to peers. Our growth mindset approach to learning means that the emphasis is always on how we use feedback for improvement, focussing on the learning journey to develop confidence and resilience.
Key Stage 4
Dance at Key Stage 4 enables students to develop their creative, physical, emotional and intellectual capacity, whatever their previous experience in the subject. GCSE Dance encourages students to find their own individual style of expression through studying a range of styles and choreographic approaches. Students develop their Dance technique, physical and expressive skills through the learning of both solos and trios and are also given complete autonomy and freedom of creativity through a choreographic task where they can create work for a solo or a group. Students explore a wide variety of themes when studying 6 professional dance works ranging from delving into the human psyche, looking at what lies beneath in the professional work ‘Infra’ by Wayne McGregor, to the idea of being free to express who you are in society through studying ‘Emancipation of Expressionism’ by Blue Boy Group. Dance GCSE takes a holistic view of the art form, students not only study all the above but also look at costume, lighting, set and music design, continually asking ‘Why was that particular element chosen?’, enabling our students to develop inquisitive minds with the ability to interpret and analyse what they see.
Key Stage 5
The main aim of Dance at Key Stage 5 is to prepare our students for the true working world of a Dancer. Right from the start, students join Lutterworth College’s very own Dance Company, TripudioDanceCo. Throughout their studies, the students function exactly as a professional company. The emphasis is on collaboration and how to effectively work with your peers and choreographers to reach a shared goal and vision. The dancers receive intensive workshops and rehearsals where they develop their technical skills in Contemporary and Jazz Dance, as well as improving their physical fitness and flexibility. Students develop movement memory skills through the learning of professional and company repertoire as well as new choreography created for them.
In Year one, Students develop the knowledge and skills that will enable them to access Dance courses at university and beyond. Here they analyse and explore the work and lives of key practitioner’s past and present and communicate that knowledge through essay writing and presentations. Students learn how to Harvard reference, effectively research and how to structure an investigative essay at a University level, effectively preparing them for the next stage in their education. During this first year, students also learn how to effectively collaborate to create a 10-minute Dance work based on a stimulus set by the exam board as a small group. Here students develop their knowledge of explorative strategies and are given full autonomy to create work that resonates with them in any style. As well as this, students also rehearse and prepare for the end of year show, which is a full-scale Dance adaptation of an existing story. Previous repertoire includes a gothic version of ‘Sleeping Beauty’ and a fresh look at ‘The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe’ amongst many more. The Dance Show is the highlight of the Dance Calendar and is usually sold out both nights, with audiences from the local community and beyond.
In Year two, we really hone in on students’ technical development, ensuring they are ready for the next level in their Dance journey with a particular focus on Contemporary technique in its many forms. Students are assessed on their ability to recreate existing Professional repertoire from the likes of Matthew Bourne and Akram Khan as well as their ability to choreograph fresh, innovative and exciting pieces of Dance work. Students explore the life of a working dancer where they gain all the knowledge necessary for the next stages in their career, including the best training routes, universities and careers for them. Students continue their studies of professional Dance practitioners from the past through to the present day, which then underpins their own dance practice and technical development. There is a large focus on improvement throughout the course of the year where the students keep a dancer’s journal, recording their strengths and areas for improvement and setting challenging targets to enable them to achieve their goals. All this knowledge and skill is then applied to the end of year show in which Year two students make up the principle cast. They are responsible for the design, marketing and management for the whole show, using their collaboration and leadership skills to effectively manage themselves other students involved. The Year Two students could be involved in 20 dance pieces over the course of two hours, giving them a realistic experience of being a professional dancer.