At Key Stage 3 students learn to perform challenging set material, develop their creative skills and appreciate professional dance works. They are encouraged to work co-operatively, taught to appreciate their strengths and set targets for improvement. They learn good audience behaviour and develop confidence to perform. There are a wide range of extra-curricular clubs and activities open to all, and many students take up this opportunity to extend their skills and develop their interests.
Dance at Dowdales offers each student the opportunity to experience a wide variety of dance styles and cultures through the curriculum. Right from the start weekly lessons are highly practical and are planned with strategies to engage and motivate. In Year 7 they learn good audience behaviour and develop confidence to perform. Students begin with a Harry Potter unit where they learn some set material and then have the opportunity to develop their ideas through choreographed duets. Students then continue to develop their choreography and performance skills in African and Caribbean, Bugsy Malone, Bounce, Choreography and Shakespeare units of work. By the end of Year 7 they will have experienced dances from different cultures, jazz style dance as well as the use of literacy and sport stimulus to create dance from.
In Year 8 students build on their skills from Year 7 by learning more complex choreographic devices and a variety of formations and pathways. Students learn to perform challenging set material, develop their creative skills and appreciate their own work and that of professional dance companies. They experience this in their Ghost Dances and Shakespeare units where they watch the original work and develop their own ideas from this. Other units include Bollywood to develop their understanding of different cultures and units such as Dance Tek Warriors and Collarbone which have a theme to explore their choreography skills. Students are encouraged to work co-operatively, taught to appreciate their strengths and regularly set targets for improvement.
Year 9 includes the study of one of the GCSE professional set works A Linha Curva which explores Samba style movements with a carnival feel. Students watch this work, learn some of the key material and use this to choreograph a group piece. Written tasks are also given to test their skills in analysing dance works. Other styles of dance covered in this year include Parkour inspired movements with contact work, Lindy Hop in pairs and Street Dance. Students are also introduced to some elements of the set phrases to prepare them for GCSE performance work.