Year 9 Dance

Unit Content

Unit 1
Mad Hatter’s Tea Party 

This unit employs a professional work, ‘Mad Hatter’s Tea Party’, to build students' understanding of how choreographers create full-length dances that challenge audiences' thinking. 'Mad Hatter's Tea Party' uses dance to explore mental health using characters from Alice in Wonderland. Students put themselves in the shoes of the choreographer, using the work's processes, devices, themes and characters to create their own performance pieces on a related theme. 

Key knowledge developed:

  • Knowledge of choreographic processes and their importance
  • Understanding choreographic processes, the importance of researching a topic, and how movements can develop from findings

Key skills developed:

  • How to show maturity when dealing with sensitive topics in choreography 
  • How to write about choreographic decisions and their justification

Assessment: Students will be assessed on performances throughout the unit, and will complete a written task on their choreography, making links to their choreographic intent. 

Unit 2

In this unit, students develop their knowledge of choreographic processes by using a professional work, MADHEAD, as a starting point from which to develop their own skills. They will work in groups to respond to a stimulus by developing motifs, ultimately creating their own extended dance piece. 

Key knowledge developed:

  • Understanding 'highlighting' and 'climax' in dance and how these can be used to help realise a choreographic intent 

Key skills developed:

  • How to develop a motif, using spatial design and pathways
  • How to demonstrate musicality and control in a dance performance
  • How to show dynamic contrast

Assessment: Students are formatively assessed throughout the unit, with a final performance at the end. 

Unit 3

Through engagement with a professional work, Contagion, students reflect on their experiences of Covid-19 and choreograph their own narrative dance forms, incorporating elements that emphasise the concept of human relationships, such as mirroring and accumulation. 

Key knowledge developed:

  • Understanding how actions and dynamics can help to create a mood when choreographing
  • Understanding 'mirroring' and 'accumulation' in dance and how these can be used to help realise a choreographic intent
  • Understanding how the effective inclusion of choreographic devices has impact on the audience

Key skills developed:

  • How to incorporate relationships and choreographic devices into choreography
  • How to build narrative into choreography
  • How to use 'accumulation' and 'mirroring' to portray narrative elements in dance
  • How to choreograph movements that build to an effective climax in a dance
  • How to use performance skills to help audiences understand the meaning of a dance

Assessment: Formative assessment is given in each lesson and performances are assessed summatively at the end of the unit. 

Unit 4
Emancipation of Expressionism 

In this unit, students study the professional work 'Emancipation of Expressionism' by Boy Blue Entertainment. They engage with and develop motifs from the work, adapting its complex use of spatial design within the context of their own dances. Students use this work as a starting point to explore the relationships between dance styles, focusing on urban and contemporary dance. 

Key knowledge developed:

  • Understanding lighting and costume, and how these can contribute to the realisation of choreographic intent
  • Understanding physical and expressive performance skills

Key skills developed:

  • How to adapt a motif in the context of various spatial designs
  • How to perform with projection and extension
  • How to choreograph using long pathways, demonstrating dynamic contrast when travelling

Assessment: Students' performances and skill demonstration are formatively assessed throughout the unit. In addition, their conceptual knowledge is tested in a short, in-class vocabulary assessment.