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Dance

Introduction

Dance is an exciting and creative subject that is taught to all boys at Forest Hill School. The benefits of participating in dance are extensive. Dance lessons give students the opportunity to be creative whilst also being active; they encourage teamwork and self-reflection; and above all students develop confidence, empowering them as presenters and commanders of a stage.

The dance curriculum at Forest Hill School focuses on developing students’ practical and theoretical skills in the subject through the three components of choreography, performance and appreciation. A deep understanding of these concepts is essential to achieve excellence in GCSE Dance as well as develop confident and enthusiastic students who have a passion for the subject.

The Dance department has a dance studio with full height mirrors and a sound system for lessons and rehearsals with the atrium stage and professional lighting available for performances.

Dance Curriculum Map

Dance at Key Stage 3

At Key Stage 3 (Years 7, 8 and 9), dance is taught on rotation with Drama. Students are taught Dance for a term and a half and then the switch to Drama for the remainder of the year. Year 7 students begin with an introduction to Capoeira, the Brazilian martial art form, and learn what a stimulus is and how it can be used to create a dance piece. The students are introduced to choreography from a stimulus.

In Year 8, the students develop their understanding of more complex forms of choreography. They do this by exploring thematic, character work and the use of dynamics and spacing to evidence stimulus. The students also widen their cultural understanding of dance by learning Breakdancing in the second half of the year. They learn the history and movement to build strength and stamina.

In Year 9, students explore contact work in a deeper way. The students learn grips, weight transference and challenging lifts in duets and small groups. This develops their trust and resilience. The boys also experiment with lyrical movement and the use of props in the latter part of the term.

KS3 Dance does not officially set homework, but students are encouraged to rehearse the practical work at home and take any opportunity to experience dance as an art form.

Dance at Key Stage 4

At Key Stage 4, students can opt to study the Level 2 Tech Award in Creative and Performing Arts, which is the equivalent to a GCSE and assessed as part of the DFE league performance tables but allows the students more flexibility and freedom over their choices. The award also gives students more industry experience than the GCSE and tends to fit the vocational, practical strengths of our students as well as stretching them academically.

The course offers students more in-depth opportunities to work on their dance technique through small practical lessons. They build on their basic dance skills to be able to create, choreograph and perform successfully throughout the year. Students also research the history and creation of different dance styles from Latin American to Hip hop and Contemporary.

They experience workshops in varying styles and have lots of opportunities to develop their craft and strong teamwork skills through choreographic tasks and the rehearsal process. The students use coursework to note their progress and evidence their performing journey. It is a fun and flexible course that allows students to focus on what they are interested in!

RSL Creative and Performing Arts Specification

Enrichment

Forest Hill School provides opportunities for students from all year groups to participate in extracurricular activities in the Dance Studio – outside of the curriculum offer. We take students to participate in outside dance workshops and to see a range of live dance in the theatre. Every year, Forest Hill students perform at the Lewisham Schools’ Dance Showcase held at the Broadway Theatre in Catford.