Year 8 Dance

Unit Content

Unit 1
Urban & Flashmobs (double unit)


The purpose of these units is to explore different dance styles and their use of action and dynamics, and to provide a context for understanding how performance skills can be developed. Throughout the units, students reflect on their work in order to refine their sequences. At the end of the units, they watch recordings of their own performances and create individualised plans designed to develop their skills. 

Students explore a range of urban dance styles, including hip hop, funk and tutting. They develop their performance skills as they prepare their routines for a 'dance battle' performance towards the end of the unit.  

Students explore the evolution of dance in popular culture, learning about the actions and dynamics of dances from 1980 to 2012. They also explore the use of flashmobs, for example as promotional tools, for raising awareness and simply as a means of spreading joy. Students then consider the practical steps they would need to take to plan their own flashmob. 

Key knowledge developed:

  • Understanding the concept of 'accumulation' in the context of the flashmob
  • Understanding the different ways flashmobs can be used to communicate

Key skills developed:

  • How to recognise various performance skills in professional dances
  • How to perform a dance in a stylistically accurate way
  • How to use transitions to combine multiple dances

Assessment: Students show their competitive spirit, by taking part in a group 'dance battle' against their peers. 

Unit 2 
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 3

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

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

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