Year 8 Dance

Unit Content

Units 1 and 2
Graffiti and Dance Around the World


The purpose of this unit is to explore a variety of street dance techniques and expressive skills. Students develop their understanding of 'tags' and 'throw ups', and learn how to create their own initials through movement, working on improving their performance skills throughout.

In the following term, they take these skills further by exploring a variety of dance styles, including capoeira, flamenco, cèilidh, Bollywood, Kathak and dances from South Africa. They learn the key moves and stylistic features of these traditions, along with relevant historical, cultural and societal information.

Key knowledge developed:

  • Knowing the key movements of a number of dance styles from around the world
  • Understanding the similarities and differences between different dance styles
  • Understanding that social and historic context has led to a wide variety of dance styles
  • Understanding a range of street dance actions
  • Understanding the breadth, depth and diversity of dance
  • Understanding relationships ('accumulation' and 'mirroring')

Key skills developed:

  • How to demonstrate rehearsal discipline consistently in order to produce a successful piece of work
  • How to perform a number of movements from different dance styles
  • How to demonstrate musicality while performing
  • How to demonstrate focus consistently when performing

Assessment: The unit concludes with a summative assessment in which students perform their street dance pieces and are assessed on both their perfomance and choreographic skills.

Unit 3 
Climate Change 

This unit teaches students to explore their choreographic skills in the context of important global issues. Students choreograph movement linked to climate change, developing shapes and moves based on the planetary impacts of humans, such as extreme weather and waste. Students also develop their dance appreciation, initiating and responding to conversations about choreographic processes and intentions. 

Key knowledge developed:

  • Understanding the concept of 'gesture'
  • Understanding various methods of motif development

Key skills developed:

  • How to choreograph a number of gestures independently
  • How to use a stimulus to improvise movement

Assessment: Students will be assessed formatively each lesson, and will perform to the class at the end of the unit. 

Unit 4

This unit is an exploration of the professional dance work ‘Swansong’ by Christopher Bruce. Students build awareness of human rights issues, and explore and communicate their knowledge and ideas through movement. They learn how to use props and lifts to demonstrate power of character. 

Key knowledge developed:

  • Understanding how choreographers have used dance to communicate important messages about social issues
  • Understanding different dance structures
  • Understanding how choreographic devices are used to communicate narrative
  • Understanding the requirements needed to lift another dancer safely

Key skills developed:

  • How to choreograph using a prop
  • How to perform movements within a contemporary style
  • How to incorporate weight-bearing exercises and lifts into choreography safely
  • How to perform movement with expressive skills in order to communicate meaning
  • How to provide constructive feedback to peers

Assessment: Students will be assessed formatively each lesson, and will perform to the class at the end of the unit.