The Dance Department are proud of the committed and dedicated dancers we have here already at Thorns and constantly strive to give any student the opportunity to pursue their interest in Dance. Our motto is ‘Dance – Believe – Achieve’ and we offer students the chance to develop their skills in a variety of different dance styles.
Dance is taught to all students at Key Stage 3 and is offered as a BTEC option in Years 10 and 11. Lessons are taught in our beautiful, purpose-built dance studio which is a fantastic space for students to create and perform dances that showcase their talents.
The Dance Department are now fortunate to have resident practitioner Tom O’Connell from Birmingham Hippodrome work every week within our department. This fantastic partnership has allowed our students to perform in large scale external spaces such as Birmingham Hippodrome and work alongside world renowned companies like Birmingham Royal Ballet.
The department prides itself in taking part in community events and hosts a show each year. Students will regularly have access to professional dance artists in a variety of styles and are given opportunities to attend live performances at the theatre.
The Dance Department offers a variety of weekly dance clubs; these encourage students to pursue their enjoyment of the subject further and aid the progression of their dance skills:
- Overload – Year 7
- Cre8tive – Year 8
- Fusion – Year 9
- Fresh Vibez – Year 10 & 11
- NRG Dance Company – More able students 9-11
- Momentum – More able students 7 & 8
Here’s a sample of our annual Dance Production, filmed earlier this year:
Students explore the theme of being a secret agent spy! They will explore ‘contact work’ and will develop composition skills that stimulate imaginative thinking.
Students will explore one of the two units.
Students will create a dance around the story of Romeo and Juliet which involves exploring the theme of the rivalry between the two families; The Montagues and The Capulets. The choreography will include small group and partner work and incorporates Capoeira and martial arts inspired movements.
Alternatively, students will perform a variety of dance styles including Bollywood, Jive and Contemporary. They will develop their knowledge and understanding of key performance skills and explore various choreographic devices such as dynamics and formations.
Year 9 students work on a rotation/carousel basis alongside other Performing Arts subjects and are given the opportunity to complete a unit of work based on the Key Stage 4 Dance course. This will provide them an insight into what to expect if they select Dance as an option.
In Dance, students will have master class workshops to learn the five main actions of Street Dance. They will also experience working in small groups to link phrases together to create a final performance piece.
On their second rotation students will explore the work of dance practitioner Merce Cunningham. The unit called ‘Dance by Chance’ will encourage students to explore dance notation and also improvisation tasks such as using dice to create their choreography.
On their third rotation students will work in small groups on the theme ‘Dance Films’ which encourages them to create a dance inspired by a dance film of their own choice.
The course starts at the beginning of Year 10. Students follow the Edexcel specification. The assessments include practical performances, written assignments and an exam across three units of work, one completed in Year 10 and two in Year 11. Component 1: Understanding the Arts is worth 30%, Component 2: Developing skills and techniques is worth 30% and Component 3 which is externally assessed is worth 40%.
Students will have the opportunity to develop their appreciation of the Art in more detail. This includes studying various professional dance works and researching key practitioner’s to aid their understanding of how the Dance industry has developed and changed over time.
Component 1: Exploring the Performing Arts
Students will develop their knowledge and understanding of a range of performance styles within Performing Arts; examining practitioners’ work and in the processes used to create performance.
Component 2: Developing Skills and Techniques in the Performing Arts
Students will develop your Performing Arts skills and techniques, exploring a range of different dance styles including Contemporary and Jazz. They will look at existing professional dance works and will reproduce the dance repertoire.
Component 3: Performing to a Brief
Students will be given the opportunity to work as part of a group to develop their ideas and create a workshop performance in response to a given brief and stimulus.
Mrs K Watson
Head of Dance since 2014. Passionate about Dance and enjoys seeing live performances at the theatre. Takes great pride in making Dance accessible and fun to all students regardless of beginnings and has worked on numerous projects within the community to help inspire others.