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performance and dance

AS/A2 Dance AS/A2 Performance Studies

Welcome to the Performance and Dance Department at Carmel College This is an ever-growing department with 2 members of staff and approximately 100 students. The courses are challenging, lively and have a good balance between theoretical and practical work. Students enjoy trips out to theatre and community arts events and can take part in up to 6 performances throughout the year. We hope to see you in September!


meet the students BETHANY CALLENDER Wade Deacon

Studying: Dance, Fine Art, German Dance is my favourite subject; it’s fantastic and allows me to really build my confidence and technique. The lessons range from the really interesting theory side where we learn about choreographers, analyse works, study the human body and the history of dance, to the practical side of showing and creating work. The dance tutors are really supportive, advice and help is always on hand whenever you need it in order for you to reach your full potential. When I leave I hope to study Dance at university.

meet the tutors JOANNE HAGGIS Dance and Performance Studies Tutor. Joanne trained at York St John College and Potsdam University in New York. She has worked with various professional contemporary dance companies.

WHY CHOOSE DANCE AT CARMEL? The Dance course allows students to acquire Dance knowledge, skills and understanding for further study and/or for future employment. The course encourages students to gain skills in performance and choreography and to engage in critical thinking about Dance. It promotes students’ interest in a healthy lifestyle and allows students to explore their creativity and express their ideas and interpretations.

HOW WILL I BE TAUGHT? Lessons vary depending on the unit being focused upon at that time. All practical classes take place in the newly built Dance Studio and theory classes take place in the classroom. In theory classes students will study dance history, analyse professional dance works and study choreographic approaches and processes. They will be taught anatomy and learn about the physical and performance skills required as a performer and choreographer. Students will have a minimum of two practical dance lessons each week: one dance technique class and at least one choreographic workshop.

both short questions and essay questions. Unit 2- Choreography and Performance: Students will be expected to individually choreograph and perform a 2-3 minute solo dance piece which is based on a chosen exam question and to collaborate with peers to choreograph a 3-4 minute duet or trio dance piece. Students will be assessed on their choreographic ability and their performance skills and technical ability. Unit 3 – Dance Appreciation: Content & Context: Students complete a written exam paper at the end of the second year. The paper consists of two essay questions; one on the chosen area of study for that year and one on the analysis and understanding of the chosen set work for that year. Unit 4 - Group Choreography & Solo Performance: Students are assessed on their choreographic ability in which they choreograph a 2-3 minute group dance piece based on a question set by the exam board. The student is also assessed on their performance and technical ability in which they must create and perform a 2-3 minute solo choreography in the style of a specific practitioner. Both pieces are assessed by an Examiner.



The Dance course is made up of four units over the two years: Unit 1 - Understanding Dance: Written exam paper that assesses understanding of all concepts learnt throughout the year. The paper consists of

Students tend to follow an art route with this qualification and many go on to further their studies in this subject at university. Some professions include: dance criticism/writing, teaching, choreography and performance.

What support will I receive? The department is very supportive of students and their needs and staff are available for tutorials throughout the year. This support extends to coursework tutorials as well as singing lessons and music theory lessons if required.

AS/A2 Performance Studies


WHY CHOOSE PERFORMANCE STUDIES AT CARMEL? This subject is 65% written work with a comprehensive coursework assignment at AS and a written exam at the end of each academic year. It explores the 3 art forms of dance, drama and music and gives students a very good grounding in analytical and research skills.

WHAT WILL THE COURSE INVOLVE? A range of teaching methods are used including video/audio analysis, practical based workshops and lively discussion. We encourage regular visits to the theatre and this forms part of our programme. Lessons take place in the newly built Dalton Theatre with theoretical lessons moving to the classroom. We encourage participation in extra curricular activities and independent research.

HOW WILL I BE ASSESSED? There are 4 units covering a number of different skills in all three art forms.

AS Units Creating Performance: This module covers all 3 performing arts subjects. Students devise and perform an original piece of drama, dance and music and then work on a piece integrating all three art forms to be performed at a chosen community venue. The unit is assessed through a 3000 word assignment as well as practically in all three art forms.

Performance Contexts: Students focus on 2 out of the 3 art forms and study practitioners in each. Students sit an examination in May.

A2 Units Performance Project: Students perform a piece of repertoire from any one of the practitioners studied over their two years. They can work as individuals or in groups. A second piece is devised in response to a given commission from OCR. Students work in groups to create an original piece that includes all three art forms. Performance Contexts 2: This unit focuses on 9 pieces of work from 3 different practitioners in each of the art forms. At Carmel we study the Twentieth Century American Musical. Students sit an exam in June.

WHAT CAN I DO WITH THIS QUALIFICATION? Many students have gone on to further their studies in Performing Arts by taking this subject or a related subject at degree level. As a subject that involves analytical research and team work skills it can lead to a variety of different professions namely journalism (e.g. theatre critic), performer, front of house administration, teaching.

What is the department like? This is a lively and ever expanding department. Currently there are 2 tutors who specialise in all 3 of the art forms on offer. The theatre space is large and can be varied to suit different performance environments. Alongside this, students are encouraged to perform outside of college. In the past we have performed at the Albert Docks in Liverpool, Liverpool World Museum, Knowsley Safari Park, Knowsley Hall and the YMCA in St Helens.

meet the students DOMINIC DOOLEY De La Salle

Studying: Performance Studies, Dance, P.E. I really like studying at Carmel! I enjoy the enthusiasm contributed by everyone to every lesson. You can have fun and still get a great education at the same time! The support for students is excellent. Resources like the Library and IT suites are great and the studying environment is comfortable. I went on the trip to London where I had the opportunity to watch performances in the West End which was really beneficial to me. I have taken part in the college productions which were a great experience and I have great memories of these to take away with me. I am going to study at Edge Hill and hope to pursue a career as an actor in the future.

meet the tutors HANNAH THOMAS Head of Performance Studies/Dance

New for 2010! Brand new Performance Theatre and Dance Studios.

Hannah is an Examiner for AQA GCSE Dance and OCR Performance Studies. She is a Singer and Dancer and former Choreographer and Dancer with the Trainspotting Dance Company.

A new theatre seating an audience of around 200; Dance Studio; Performance and rehearsal area; Changing and showering facilities for students; Teaching and learning room including ICT area.

Hannah has also written for the new OCR Performance Studies CD Rom and Study Guide

WHAT OTHER ACTIVITIES WILL I GET INVOLVED IN? Performing arts invariably means that you will be involved with extra curricular activities and this is actively encouraged. We currently have enrichment opportunities in production and music lessons as well as opportunities to help out with lighting, sound and box office administration. Bouncers Production 2008

Lunchtime shows are supported by the whole college and you will be encouraged to take part in performances throughout the year and support your peers.


College Production of ‘Buddy’ 2008

HOW SUCCESSFUL ARE CARMEL'S PERFORMANCE AND DANCE STUDENTS? The department has very high standards and has maintained its standing, achieving grades consistently above the national average for the past 3 years. Many students from the department go on to further their studies in the performing arts industry. We currently have students at the Leeds School of Contemporary Dance, Laine Theatre Arts in London as well as students following dance and drama courses in Manchester and Liverpool.

Although a GCSE in dance, drama or music is advantageous it is not a necessity. A willingness to work as part of a team plus energy, enthusiasm and commitment are all much more important.












Performance and Dance Students performed at St George’s Hall as part of a Capital of Culture event.

Spamalot 2010

more information Detailed course specifications can be found on the Exam Board websites:

Dance Performance Studies

College Production 2009 - Sweeney Todd

Carmel College Performance & Dance Course Information  

Carmel College Peformance & Dance Course Information

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