Learning
Dance

Why Study Dance?

Dance communicates and gives expression to personal and social experiences. Humans have danced since the earliest times and dance continues to be a vibrant part of the cultural life of communities fulfilling a wide and dynamic range of roles.

VCE Dance involves students as performers, choreographers and audience. The study is designed to develop students’ understanding and appreciation of dance that is based on innovation, creativity and dance practice across time and place. The movement vocabulary each student develops may reflect their experiences of dance in social, cultural, therapeutic or other contexts. By exploring connections between practice and theory students can further enrich their experiences.

VCE Dance prepares students to be creative, innovative and productive contributors to society as professional and social performers and makers of new dance works. The study also prepares students to be discerning, reflective and critical viewers of dance and provides pathways to training and tertiary study in dance performance and associated careers within the dance industry.

VCE Dance prepares students to be creative, innovative, skilled and productive contributors to the art form, as well as discerning, reflective and critical viewers. It provides pathways to training and tertiary study in dance performance and dance criticism.

Structure

The study is made up of four units:

Each unit deals with specific content and is designed to enable students to achieve a set of outcomes. Each outcome is described in terms of key knowledge and skills.

Outcomes
Outcomes define what students will know and be able to do as a result of undertaking the study.

Outcomes include a summary statement and the key knowledge and skills that underpin them. Only the summary statements have been reproduced below and must be read in conjunction with the key knowledge and skills published in the study design.

Unit 1

In this unit students explore the potential of the body as an instrument of expression and communication in conjunction with the regular and systematic development of physical dance skills. Students discover the diversity of expressive movement and purposes for dancing in dances from different times, places, cultures, traditions and/or styles. They commence the process of developing a personal movement vocabulary and also begin the practices of documenting and analysing movement. Through this work they develop understanding of how other choreographers use these practices.

Students learn about relevant physiology and approaches to health and wellbeing, and about care and maintenance of the body. They apply this knowledge through regular and systematic dance training. Students explore the choreographic process through movement studies, cohesive dance compositions and performances. They discuss influences on other choreographers and the impact of these influences on intentions and movement vocabulary in selected dance works.

Area of Study 1

Dance Perspectives

Outcome 1
On completion of this unit the student should be able to describe and document features of other choreographers’ dance works.

Area of Study 2

Choreography and performance

Outcome 2
On completion of this unit the student should be able to choreograph and perform a solo, duo and/or group dance work and complete structured improvisations.

Area of Study 3

Dance Technique and Performance

Outcome 3
On completion of this unit the student should be able to safely and expressively perform a learnt solo, duo or group dance work.

Area of Study 4

Awareness and maintenance of the dancer’s body

Outome 4
On completion of this unit the student should be able to describe key approaches to wellbeing and health practices for dancers and essential aspects of physiology, and demonstrate the safe use and maintenance of the dancer’s body.

Unit 2

In this unit students extend their personal movement vocabulary and skill in using a choreographic 
process by exploring elements of movement (time, space and energy), the manipulation of movement through choreographic devices and the types of form used by choreographers. Students use the choreographic process to develop and link movement phrases to create a dance work. They apply their understanding of the processes used to realise a solo or group dance work – choreographing and/or learning, rehearsing, preparing for performance and performing.

Students are introduced to a range of dance traditions, styles and works. Dance traditions, styles 
and works selected for study should encompass the dance output of traditional and/or contemporary 
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and other Australian dance artists. Students may also 
study material such as dance from other cultures, music theatre, the work of tap/jazz or street 
performers, ballet choreographers, and/or modern dance.

Students describe the movement vocabulary in their own and others’ dances by identifying the use of movement categories and ways the elements of movement have been manipulated through the use of choreographic devices. Students make links between the theoretical and practical aspects of dance across the areas of study through analysis and discussion of the way their own and other 
choreographers’ intentions are communicated, and through the ways movement has been manipulated and structured.

Area of Study 1

Dance perspectives

Outcome 1
On completion of this unit the student should be able to analyse use of the movement categories and 
elements of movement in selected dance traditions, styles and/or works.

Area of Study 2

Choreography and performance

Outcome 2
On completion of this unit the student should be able to complete structured improvisations and choreograph and perform a solo, duo or group dance work.

Area of Study 3

Dance Technique and Performace

Outcome 3
On completion of this unit the student should be able to safely and securely perform a learnt solo, duo or group dance work with artistry, and report on the realisation of the dance work.

Unit 3

In this unit students choreograph, rehearse and perform a solo dance work that allows them to 
execute a diverse range of physical skills and actions drawn from all movement categories. Students 
continue regular and systematic dance training and learn and perform a duo or group dance work 
created by another choreographer. They continue to develop their ability to safely execute movement vocabulary and perform with artistry.

Students analyse the realisation of their solo and the learnt duo or group dance work, focusing on 
the processes of choreographing or learning, rehearsing, preparing for performance and performing. 
This analysis connects each student’s work as a choreographer to the work of professional 
choreographers.

Students further develop their understanding of the choreographic process through analysis of two 
dance works by choreographers of the twentieth and/or twenty-first centuries. These dance works 
must be selected from the Prescribed list of dance works for Unit 3. The Prescribed list for Unit 3 
includes solo works, duos and works where the performance of a particular dancer in a group can be 
studied independently. Students analyse how the intentions chosen by choreographers are developed 
through the use of choreographic devices and arrangement of phrases and sections. They analyse the 
dance design and use of movement vocabulary in the selected works and consider influences on the 
choreographers’ choices of intention, movement vocabulary and production aspects of the dance 
works. Students consider the influence these choreographers and/or the selected dance works have
had on the arts, artists and/or society.

Area of Study 1

Dance perspectives

Outcome 1
On completion of this unit the student should be able to analyse two selected dance works.

Area of Study 2

Choreography, performance and analysis of a skills-based solo dance work

Outcome 2
On completion of this unit the student should be able to choreograph, rehearse and perform a skills-based solo dance work and analyse the processes used to realise the solo dance work.  

Area of Study 3

Dance technique, performance and analysis of a learnt dance work

Outcome 3
On completion of this unit the student should be able to learn, rehearse and prepare for performance, and perform a duo or group dance work by another choreographer and analyse the processes used.

Unit 4

In this unit students choreograph, rehearse and perform a solo dance work with a cohesive 
structure. When rehearsing and performing this dance work students focus on communicating the 
intention with accurate execution of choreographic variations of spatial organisation. They explore 
how they can demonstrate artistry in performance. Students document and analyse the realisation of 
the solo dance work across the processes of choreographing, rehearsing, preparing to perform and 
performing the dance work.

Students continue to develop their understanding of the choreographic process through analysis of a 
group dance work by a twentieth or twenty-first century choreographer. This analysis focuses on 
ways in which the intention is expressed through the manipulation of spatial relationships. 

Students analyse the use of group structures (canon, contrast, unison, and asymmetrical and 
symmetrical groupings and relationships) and spatial organisation (direction, level, focus and 
dimension) and investigate the influences on choices made by choreographers in these works.
In this unit the group work studied for Outcome 1 must be different from any works studied in Unit 
3, and the term ‘choreographer’ can be understood as one or more choreographers.

 

Area of Study 1

Dance Perspectives

Outcome 1
On completion of this unit the student should be able to analyse a selected group dance work.

Area of Study 2

Choreography, performance and dance-making analysis

Outcome 2
On completion of this unit the student should be able to choreograph, rehearse, perform and analyse their realisation of a solo dance work.

Assessment

Satisfactory Completion

Demonstrated achievement of the set of outcomes specified for the unit.


Levels of Achievement

Units 1 and 2

Emmaus College students complete graded Assessment Tasks and Semester Examinations as part of the Assessment process for Units 1 and 2.

Units 3 and 4

The Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority will supervise the assessment of all students undertaking Units 3 and 4.

In Dance the student’s level of achievement will be determined by school-assessed coursework, an end-of-year performance examination and an end-of-year written examination.

Percentage contributions to the study score in Dance are as follows:

Unit 3 and 4 School-assessed Coursework 25%
End-of-year performance examination 50%
End-of-year written examination 25%