Dance is a vital part of every known culture throughout time, it is a tool for physical expression, a device to tell story, express emotionally, solve creative problems and think collaboratively. It is a distinct form of nonverbal communication that uses the body as an instrument of expression. Dance helps build life skills such as creative thinking, self-expression and collaboration with a wide range of people. It is a safe environment where students can express creatively and think imaginatively to find their own personal style.

Dance offers an exciting practical opportunity to build the technique and skills appropriate to a range of styles, such as Jazz, Musical Theatre, Hip Hop and Contemporary Dance. The aim of the Dance course is to provide students with performance experiences that encourage them to develop skills in three areas, performance, composition and appreciation.

Students will have the opportunity to work in a purpose built Dance studio space equipped with a sprung floor, ballet bars, mirrors and a change room.

When taking Dance, students are encouraged to participate actively in the School’s co-curricular Dance program, use their skills in the annual school Musical, as well as showcase their work at events such as Winter Playhouse and Barker goes Broadway.


Dance Coordinator: Claire Yeomans

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Year 9

The overarching goal of Year 9 Dance is to develop confidence and understanding through performance based assessment. Dance provides the opportunity for students to build the technique and skills appropriate to a range of Dance styles.

Year 9 Dance is a complete course that explores three areas, performance, composition, and appreciation. It is not a prerequisite foe entry into the Year 10 Drama Course. However, it is regarded as invaluable preparation for Senior Dance.

Areas studied:

The Dancing World – Dance Technique and Development

Students are provided with theoretical and practical tasks to learn and experience the development of dance. They learn about the significance of social and cultural dance as well as the historical development of techniques such as Classical Ballet, Jazz, Musical Theatre and Modern dance through studying influential dance pioneers. The practical lessons introduce students to class structure. And allow them to physically explore their theoretical learning.


Students are introduced to the process of developing a dance as a work of art. They engage in various improvisation tasks and learn to create sequences of movement through expanding on motif/s and manipulating the elements of dance. This unit also provides students with the opportunity to create a dance work for more than one dancer and/or explore dance film.

Australian Dance

Students learn to critique Dance as an artform, as an expression of time and place. They investigate the history of Aboriginal dance in Australia, from traditional styles to contemporary and Aboriginal Dance fusions as seen at Bangarra. They will study a performance work from Bangarra and collaborate with students from Ngarralingayil Barker in Wollombi and work in groups to create a dance sequence based on shared Australian stories.

Safe Dance Performance

This unit delves deeper into the practices of safe dance allowing students to have a greater understanding of their own limitations and capabilities. Technique classes are devised to accommodate all abilities, where levels are provided for different skills. Students learn to manipulate movements to suit their individual abilities working within correct technique and SMART dance practice. Students learn about anatomy in relation to dance movements, dance specific injuries and ways to prevent or manage them.

Assessment Structure
  • The Dancing World – Group Presentation and Workbook
  • Composition – Duo Composition and Workbook
  • Safe Dance Performance – Individual Performance and Interview

Year 10

Through a combination of practical and theoretical study Year 10 Dance students develop skills in performance, composition and appreciation learning how to create engaging performances through acquiring appropriate dance skill and technique. The Year 10 course helps build a solid foundation for those contemplating Dance for the HSC, for those wanting to enter careers in teaching, performance arts and those who want to foster their confidence and dance skills.

Students may study Year 10 Dance without having previously taken it in Year 9.

Course Outline

Passion for Performance

Students apply performance quality, perform dance skills and critique dance as an artform – with a particular look at the history/ development of Alvin Ailey’s work ‘Cry’. They interpret the dance work and write about it alongside a contemporary performance.

Music and Dance Composition

A composition unit learnt alongside Yr10 Music, whereby they explore the way music and dance can be used together. They look at applying elements of dance to perform their work by improvising, selecting and refining movement to communicate an idea.

Contemporary Dance Foundations

Students learn the contemporary dance foundations in this unit with a particular focus on body skills, anatomy, locomotor, and non-locomotor combinations to improve their performance technique. They apply the elements of dance to their own performance and analyse the safe dance practice used.

Dance for Time and Place

Students explore in groups what site specific dance looks like, they study the works of Sue Healy and Pina Bausch and explore what it looks like for Dance to function as a flash mob, protest, sport entertainment and film. In groups they create their own site-specific performance.

Assessment Structure
  • Passion for Performance – Group Performance and Workbook
  • Music and Dance Composition – Duo Dance Composition and Workbook
  • Contemporary Dance Foundations – Solo Performance and Interview
  • Dance for Time and Place – Written Response

Year 11

Year 11 Dance offers students a practical opportunity to build on their performance skills by refining their performance quality and technique. Students study three inter-related components: Performance, Composition and Appreciation of Dance. They engage with these components through practical and theoretical experience.

It is not a prerequisite for entry into the Preliminary course to have studied Dance in Year 9 and 10, however doing so provides students with a chance to grow a solid foundation in preparation for the Prelim and HSC course.

Content Areas:

Dance Technique and Performance Quality

This unit is designed to deepen students’ knowledge and understanding of the requirements of the Core Performance component of the preliminary dance course. Students learn through theory and application about dance technique applied to performance by working on exercises in the style of progressive ballet technique, classical ballet and contemporary dance in the style of Lester Horton. 

Composition and Communication

Students will learn through theory and application the theories, principles, processes and practices of composition through studying pioneers such as Merce Cunningham and Anna Halprin. The unit is designed to expand on students' knowledge and understanding of the requirements of the Core Composition component of the preliminary course. 

Dance Analysis

This content for the Preliminary course is a broad overview of Dance as an artform from a national and international perspective where students will study one Australian work focusing on Bangarra Dance Theatre. Students will also study a secondary work where they will learn about the eclectic nature of dance as they study the sociohistorical context of dance and its impact on the development of dance.  



Core Performance - Individual Performance and Interview 

Core Composition - Individual Composition and Rationale

Examination - A formal Dance essay on both topics studied throughout the year 

Year 12

‘The Dance Stage 6 Syllabus emphasises dance both as an art form in its own right and as an exciting medium for learning that fosters students’ intellectual, social and moral development’ – Dance Stage 6 Syllabus, NESA 

Year 12 Dance is a continuation of the Prelim Elective, where students showcase their skills in three areas: performance, composition and appreciation. This course is ideal for current students who are interested in applying themselves and showcasing their strong dance technique and foundational knowledge.  

Core Performance 

The Core Performance component of HSC Dance offers students the opportunity to showcase their ‘dance technique’ within the context of safe dance practice and anatomical principles of movement. This component requires students to perform a dance between 3-5minutes and participate an interview of up to 6 minutes to orally demonstrate their understanding of Safe Dance Practice. 

Core Composition  

The Core Composition component of HSC Dance is the vehicle by which students demonstrate their application of the compositional process. This component requires students to choreograph a 3-5minute composition for a dancer of their choice, participate in an interview to demonstrate knowledge and submit a 300-word rationale detailing the compositional process.  

Core Appreciation 

The Core Appreciation component of HSC Dance allows students to develop their ability in making informed judgements about dance. By studying the history of dance, they draw links between the cultural, practical and theoretical components of two set works, ‘Juliet and Romeo’ by Mats Ek and ‘Terrain’ by Frances Rings. They complete two essays in one hour based on each of these works, these handwritten essays will be completed in the HSC examination block.  

Major Study  

HSC Dance is catered to the students individual strengths, they will select a major study that contributes to 40% of their final mark. Through the guidance of their teachers they will choose one of the following options as their major: 

Performance – Dance choreographed by teacher and student, interview and rationale 

Composition – Dance choreographed by student for 2-3 dancers, interview, rationale 

Appreciation – Three Essays completed in HSC block 

Dance and technology ‘Dance on Film’ – Dance choreographed by student for dancers and filmed, interview, rationale 

Dance and technology ‘Choreographing the Virtual Body’ – Dance choreographed by student and showcased through a 3D animation software, interview, rationale.