Stage 2 | Subject outline | Version control

Dance Stage 2
Subject outline

Version 1.0
For teaching in 2021. Accredited in June 2019 for teaching at Stage 2 from 2021.

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Stage 2 | Subject outline | Subject description

Subject description

Dance is a 20-credit subject at Stage 2.

In Stage 2 Dance students develop aesthetic and kinaesthetic intelligence, using the body as an instrument for the expression and communication of ideas. Through the development of practical movement skills and choreographic and performance skills as an artist and experiencing performance as part of an audience, students explore and celebrate the human condition. They consider the role of dance in diverse contexts that may include those of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and its place in transmitting culture. They develop an appreciation of dance as an art form, as well as a life-enrichment opportunity connected to mental and physical well-being.

Students specialise in a dance genre and also explore dance in diverse contexts. Genre refers to the broad categories of dance based on shared, identifiable characteristics, such as contemporary, ballet, jazz, tap, ballroom, break-dancing, hip hop, and world dance (e.g. classical Indian dance, Thai classical dance, Irish dance). The genre chosen will depend on the interests and abilities of the student cohort, the expertise of the teacher, and the availability of facilities and resources.

Dance prepares young people for participation in the 21st century by equipping them with transferrable skills, including critical and creative thinking skills, and intercultural understanding. Dance develops individuals who are reflective thinkers, enabling them to refine their thinking and technical and expressive skills to communicate and give expression to social, cultural, and personal experience. Students learn to pose and solve problems, and work independently and collaboratively.

Dance has its own movement vocabulary and specific techniques and processes that students learn and apply to their own work as a dancer and choreographer and use to interpret, understand, and appreciate the work of others.

As students engage with dance practice and practitioners in diverse contexts, they develop imaginative and innovative ways to make meaning of the world. Dance establishes a basis for further education and employment across many fields, including the arts and culture industries. It also provides opportunities to pursue lifelong social and recreational activities. 


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Capabilities

The capabilities connect student learning within and across subjects in a range of contexts.

The SACE identifies seven capabilities.

Stage 2 | Subject outline | Capabilities | Literacy

Literacy

In this subject students extend and apply their literacy capability by, for example:

  • documenting their creative process, including use of analysis and evaluation strategies
  • explaining and justifying their ideas and approaches as they experiment with, plan, edit, synthesise, and make aesthetic decisions about their dance practices
  • understanding and using language and terminology specific to dance in the process of creating, staging, presenting, responding to, and appraising dance
  • using movement to express, communicate, and interpret ideas and intent of the choreography
  • presenting ideas in a variety of forms, including written and multimodal forms with appropriate acknowledgment of sources
  • critically analysing and evaluating their own work and the work of others.

Stage 2 | Subject outline | Capabilities | Numeracy

Numeracy

In this subject students extend and apply their numeracy capability by, for example:

  • demonstrating an understanding of general and personal space
  • identifying a variety of musical counting, phrasings, time signatures, and rhythms
  • understanding shape, weight, and force through the exploration of geometric and mathematical shape in dance (e.g. symmetry, asymmetry, concave and convex shapes, and counterbalance)
  • recognising and using patterns and spatial relationships. 

Stage 2 | Subject outline | Capabilities | Information and communication technology (ICT) capability

Information and communication technology (ICT) capability

In this subject students extend and apply their ICT capability by, for example:

  • using digital technologies in a variety of forms in the staging, researching, and recording of dance performance
  • using information and communication technologies to research, conceptualise, explore, experiment with, refine, create, evaluate, and analyse a range of dance works
  • exploring and experimenting with recordings, voice-overs, and a variety of software programs to use as a tool for reflection on the dance practices of themselves and others
  • exploring the use of new technologies, such as special effects, computer-generated images, robotics, and 3D-projected landscapes, in dance compositions. 

Stage 2 | Subject outline | Capabilities | Critical and creative thinking

Critical and creative thinking

In this subject students extend and apply their critical and creative thinking capability by, for example:

  • generating innovative ideas, possibilities, and actions to communicate choreographic intent
  • taking risks, considering alternatives, and experimenting with movement and composition
  • transferring dance traditions into new contexts
  • expressing their ideas creatively through performances and choreography
  • critiquing strategies for improving and refining their dance skills, technique, and accuracy
  • applying their understanding of dance elements to deconstruct, analyse, and discuss. 

Stage 2 | Subject outline | Capabilities | Personal and social capability

Personal and social capability

In this subject students extend and apply their personal and social capability by, for example:

  • developing skills and strategies to increase confidence, resilience, and adaptability, in order to accomplish personal and collaborative goals
  • increasing and applying understanding of posture, alignment, kinaesthetic awareness, and forms of expression
  • increasing awareness of their own physical and mental capabilities and well-being through examination of the mind and body
  • discovering personal identity by exploring and reflecting on ideas, thoughts, feelings, emotions, values, and beliefs through participating in the practice of dance
  • exploring artistic, social, environmental, and political issues and the ways in which these are interpreted and represented through dance works. 

Stage 2 | Subject outline | Capabilities | Ethical understanding

Ethical understanding

In this subject students extend and apply their ethical understanding capability by, for example:

  • understanding the appropriate use of recorded works and compositions
  • respecting the intellectual property rights of choreographers and performers
  • increasing critical understanding of the appropriate and ethical uses of digital technologies
  • considering ethical strategies in relation to access, inclusivity, and equity in dance
  • respecting the rights of individuals with regards to their personal values about subject matter, movements, space, physical contact, and communication style
  • presenting the creative works of others with integrity
  • respecting the choreographer’s intent when interpreting dance works.

Stage 2 | Subject outline | Capabilities | Intercultural understanding

Intercultural understanding

In this subject students extend and apply their intercultural understanding capability by, for example:

  • developing compassion and empathy towards others through the exploration of a diverse range of dance works and experiences
  • communicating sensitively their understanding of, and responses to, dance knowledge that has been informed by different cultural ideas and perspectives
  • exploring, analysing, and interpreting genres and influences in dance across time, location, and cultures
  • exploring and analysing how dance from diverse contexts influences their own creations
  • understanding the role of dance in social and cultural contexts.

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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledge, cultures, and perspectives

In partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, and schools and school sectors, the SACE Board of South Australia supports the development of high-quality learning and assessment design that respects the diverse knowledge, cultures, and perspectives of Indigenous Australians.

The SACE Board encourages teachers to include Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledge and perspectives in the design, delivery, and assessment of teaching and learning programs by:

  • providing opportunities in SACE subjects for students to learn about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories, cultures, and contemporary experiences
  • recognising and respecting the significant contribution of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to Australian society
  • drawing students’ attention to the value of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledge and perspectives from the past and the present
  • promoting the use of culturally appropriate protocols when engaging with and learning from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities.  

Stage 2 | Subject outline | Learning requirements

Learning requirements

The learning requirements summarise the knowledge, skills, and understanding that students are expected to develop and demonstrate through their learning in Stage 2 Dance.

In this subject students are expected to:

  • develop knowledge and understanding of the body, dance skills, dance elements, structural devices, production elements and safe dance practices in choreography and performance
  • apply technical and expressive dance skills in performance
  • communicate choreographic intent to an audience through composition and performance
  • evaluate their own creative works as an artist and that of others as an audience member
  • research and analyse dance in diverse contexts.

 


Stage 2 | Subject outline | Content

Content

Stage 2 Dance is a 20-credit subject that consists of the following strands:

  • understanding dance
  • creating dance
  • responding to dance.

Stage 2 | Subject outline | Content | understanding-dance

Understanding dance

In understanding dance, students develop and extend their understanding of how ideas and intentions are communicated in and through dance. They build on and refine their knowledge and understanding through dance practices focusing on:

  • the body
  • dance skills
  • dance elements
  • structural devices
  • production elements
  • safe dance practices.

The body

The body is the mobile figure or shape felt by the dancer and seen by others.

Study of the body includes:

  • body part articulations, weight transfer, body awareness, body bases, and body parts.

Dance skills

Dance skills support the concepts and processes needed to create and communicate choreographic meaning.

They are:

  • technical skills — physical execution, such as control, accuracy, alignment, strength, balance, coordination, placement, flexibility, endurance, articulation, timing, rhythm, extension, and spatial awareness
  • expressive skills — interpretive qualities, such as confidence, clarity of movement and intention, projection, focus (eyeline, concentration), musicality, facial expression, body expression, and energy.

Dance elements

The elements of dance are the foundational concepts and vocabulary that help students develop movement skills and understand dance as an artistic practice.

They include:

  • space — the way dancers move through and interact with the physical world. This includes direction, dimension/size, shape, active space, positive space, negative space, planes, pathways, facings, general space, personal space, and performance space
  • time — the way dancers interact with time, including metre, tempo, momentum, accent, duration, phrasing, rhythmic patterns, stillness, and beat
  • dynamics — the way dances are executed and the way weight, force, and energy are applied. It also refers to movement qualities (e.g. sustained, swinging, suspended, collapsing, percussive, or vibratory)
  • relationships — the dancer’s connections to body parts (e.g. hand to face), the floor, objects, other dancers, and the space.

Structural devices

Structural devices are the tools used to organise and shape dance.

They include:

  • choreographic devices — the tools a choreographer selects and uses to shape movement to communicate ideas, e.g. motif and development, repetition, improvisation, contrast, echo, canon, mirroring, and unison
  • form — the structural organisation or shape of a dance to enhance the clarity of a movement or theme, e.g. AB, ABA, rondo, theme and variation, narrative, and collage

Production elements

The production elements are the non-movement elements used to support the intent of the choreography.

They include:

  • lighting
  • performance space
  • aural elements — sound, e.g. music, spoken word, SFX, found sound, silence
  • costumes
  • sets
  • props
  • technologies.

Safe dance practices

Safe dance practices involve the selection and execution of safe movement enabling students to participate without risk of injury. This involves developing an understanding of the body and its limitations. It also involves respecting the rights of individuals with regards to their personal values about subject matter, movements, space, physical contact, and communication style.

This includes:

  • an understanding of the structure and function of the musculoskeletal system
  • an understanding of the cause and prevention of common dance injuries.

Stage 2 | Subject outline | Content | creating-dance

Creating dance

In creating dance, students develop and extend their practical skills in choreography and performance. They apply their knowledge, understanding, skills, and techniques to perform and create choreographic works for a range of purposes and contexts.

Study in this strand includes, for example:

  • using the elements of dance (space, time, dynamics, and relationships) to communicate ideas through movement
  • learning effective communication skills in order to connect and communicate with the audience (e.g. facial expression, body language, gesture)
  • building original and manipulating known movement phrases to create innovative outcomes
  • using choreographic devices (e.g. motif and development) to explore imaginative possibilities
  • applying appropriate compositional form and structure (e.g. AB, ABA, rondo, narrative, collage, and theme and variation) to achieve aesthetic outcomes
  • applying innovative technologies in performance and choreography
  • collaborating with others to create and refine dance works and performance
  • demonstrating skills of improvisation for selection and refinement of movement phrases.

Stage 2 | Subject outline | Content | responding-to-dance

Responding to dance

In responding to dance, students analyse how meaning is communicated in their own and others’ work, including work from a range of cultural perspectives and artistic and industry innovators. They select and reflect on strategies to develop and refine their own performances and dance works, and those of others.

Students build confidence in using appropriate terminology, strengthening their dance literacy to discuss key elements of performance and choreography.

In this strand students may, for example:

  • reflect on their own performance and identify areas for improvement through analysis of recordings
  • discuss an individual’s contribution to group performance
  • analyse the performance and choreography of peers or industry innovators or professionals
  • refine their own practical dance skills or choreography. 

Stage 2 | Subject outline | Evidence of learning

Evidence of learning

All Stage 2 subjects have a school assessment component and an external assessment component.

The following assessment types enable students to demonstrate their learning in Stage 2 Dance.

School assessment (70%)

  • Assessment Type 1: Performance Portfolio (40%)
  • Assessment Type 2: Dance Contexts (30%)

External assessment (30%)

  • Assessment Type 3: Skills Development Portfolio (30%).

Students provide evidence of their learning through four assessment tasks, including the external assessment component. Students complete:

  • one performance portfolio
  • two dance contexts tasks — a recording and a choreographic analysis
  • one skills development portfolio.

Stage 2 | Subject outline | Assessment design criteria

Assessment design criteria

The assessment design criteria are based on the learning requirements and are used by:

  • teachers to clarify for students what they need to learn
  • teachers and assessors to design opportunities for students to provide evidence of their learning at the highest possible level of achievement.

The assessment design criteria consist of specific features that:

  • students should demonstrate in their learning
  • teachers and assessors look for as evidence that students have met the learning requirements.

For this subject the assessment design criteria are:

  • understanding dance
  • creating dance
  • responding to dance.

The specific features of these criteria are described below.

The set of assessments, as a whole, must give students opportunities to demonstrate each of the specific features by the completion of study of the subject. 

 

Understanding Dance 

The specific features are as follows:

UD1 Knowledge and understanding of dance practices, such as the use of the body, dance skills, dance elements, structural devices, production elements, and/or safe dance practices.
UD2 Knowledge and understanding of appropriate language and terminology relevant to the dance context.

Creating Dance 

The specific features are as follows:

CD1 Application of skills using safe dance practices and techniques in presenting and/or creating dance works.
CD2 Communication of choreographic intent to an audience through composition or performance.

Responding to Dance 

The specific features are as follows: 

RD1 Critique and evaluation of a dance presentation, performance, or choreographic piece.
RD2 Analysis and synthesis of research findings to choreograph a dance work.

Stage 2 | Subject outline | School assessment

School assessment

The school assessment component for Stage 2 Dance consists of two assessment types:

  • Assessment Type 1: Performance Portfolio
  • Assessment Type 2: Dance Contexts

Stage 2 | Subject outline | School assessment | assessment-type-1-performance-portfolio

Assessment Type 1: Performance Portfolio (40%)

In this assessment type, students present a performance portfolio of one or more recorded full-length performance or production works for a live audience, totalling a maximum of 10 minutes.

Performances may be presented as part of a small or larger group. Each student is required to perform in a solo, duo, trio or small group for 1 minute to ensure the contribution of the student submitting the portfolio is clearly evident.

For this assessment type, students provide evidence of their learning primarily in relation to the following assessment design criteria:

  • understanding dance
  • creating dance. 

Stage 2 | Subject outline | School assessment | Assessment Type 2: dance-contexts

Assessment Type 2: Dance Contexts (30%)

In this assessment type, students develop their knowledge, understanding and application of skills to create a dance work that may be informed by various cultural, social, political, historical or traditional contexts.

Students select, research and explore their chosen context or contexts as a catalyst for the creation of their own self-devised dance works, which are recorded. A student’s choreographic analysis is based on the recording of the dance works. The student is not required to participate in the performance.

As preparation, students may have the opportunity to attend live performances, view recorded performances, and research dances, performers, and choreographers.

This assessment type comprises two tasks:

  • recording — one or two recorded performances to a maximum of 3 minutes, demonstrating choreographic intent for stage or screen
  • choreographic analysis — one or two written, oral, or multimodal choreographic analyses to a maximum of 1000 words or 6 minutes multimodal equivalent.

Students who undertake one recorded performance submit one choreographic analysis. Students who choose to undertake two recorded performances may submit either one comparative choreographic analysis of the two performances or two separate analyses of the two performances.

A recording should demonstrate evidence of choreographic concepts and processes such as:

  • manipulating known movement phrases from different global contexts to create innovative outcomes
  • improvisation, experimentation, selection, and refinement of movement ideas
  • knowledge and understanding of the use of the body, dance skills, elements of dance, choreographic devices, and structure
  • translating an original choreographic intention to movement.

A choreographic analysis should demonstrate evidence of how research into a chosen dance context or contexts has informed artistic choices in the creation of the dance works. This should include analysing features such as the contextual significance, dance elements, structural devices, production elements, and dance skills of the dance.

For this assessment type, students provide evidence of their learning primarily in relation to the following assessment design criteria:

  • understanding dance
  • creating dance
  • responding to dance.

Stage 2 | Subject outline | External assessment

External assessment

The external assessment component for Stage 2 Dance consists of a skills development portfolio.

Stage 2 | Subject outline | External assessment | assessment-type-3-skills-development-portfolio

Assessment Type 3: Skills Development Portfolio (30%)

Students complete a skills development portfolio which explores their development as a dance artist. The portfolio allows students to communicate their ideas and use appropriate dance terminology. The dance portfolio should enable students to demonstrate evidence of their ability to make informed judgments about their development as a dance practitioner through research and reflection on their own creative work.

Students independently select a focus area for study. This may include the documentation of processes and analysis of:

  • technical skills development including safe dance practices
  • possible strategies for developing and refining skills as a dancer
  • genre-specific characterisation (e.g. founding principles of classical ballet)
  • self, peer, and teacher feedback about skills development as a dancer
  • risk-taking and experimentation in refining movement.

The portfolio should be approximately 2000 words or 12 minutes multimodal equivalent. The portfolio must include some recorded or photographic evidence of the student’s development as a dance artist collected throughout the year.

Student evidence may include analysis of recordings, photographs, reflective journal entries, and annotated research into the practice of professional performing artists.

For this assessment type, students provide evidence of their learning primarily in relation to the following assessment design criteria:

  • understanding dance — UD1, UD2
  • responding to dance — RD1.

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Performance standards

The performance standards describe five levels of achievement, A to E. 

Each level of achievement describes the knowledge, skills, and understanding that teachers and assessors refer to in deciding how well students have demonstrated their learning on the basis of the evidence provided. 

During the teaching and learning program the teacher gives students feedback on their learning, with reference to the performance standards.

At the student’s completion of study of each school assessment type, the teacher makes a decision about the quality of the student’s learning by:

  • referring to the performance standards
  • assigning a grade between A+ and E– for the assessment type.  

The student’s school assessment and external assessment are combined for a final result, which is reported as a grade between A+ and E–.

Stage 2 | Subject outline | Performance standards

Performance standards

Stage 2 performance standards for Dance can be viewed below. You can also download in Word format [DOC 255KB].

To learn more about what performance standards are, how they are used, and other general information, see performance standards and grades

  Understanding Dance  Creating Dance  Responding to Dance

A

In-depth knowledge and understanding of dance practices.

In-depth knowledge and understanding of appropriate language and terminology relevant to the dance context. 

Highly proficient and sustained application of dance skills using safe dance practices and techniques in presenting and/or creating dance works.

Coherent and sustained communication of innovative choreographic intent to an audience through composition or performance

Perceptive critique and evaluation of a dance presentation, performance, or choreographic piece.

Insightful analysis and synthesis of research findings to choreograph a dance work.

B

Detailed knowledge and understanding of dance practices.

Detailed knowledge and understanding of appropriate language and terminology relevant to the dance context. 

Proficient application of dance skills using safe dance practices and techniques in presenting and/or creating dance works.

Clear communication of choreographic intent to an audience with some innovation through composition or performance.

Highly competent critique and evaluation of a dance presentation, performance, or choreographic piece.

Considered analysis and synthesis of research findings to choreograph a dance work. 

C

Appropriate knowledge and understanding of dance practices.

Adequate knowledge and understanding of appropriate language and terminology relevant to the dance context.

Generally competent application of dance skills using safe dance practices and techniques in presenting and/or creating dance works.

Competent communication of choreographic intent to an audience with elements of innovation through composition or performance. 

Competent critique and evaluation of a dance presentation, performance, or choreographic piece.

Competent analysis and synthesis of research findings to choreograph a dance work.

D

Some knowledge and understanding of dance practices.

Some knowledge and understanding of appropriate language and terminology relevant to the dance context.

Basic application of dance skills using safe dance practices and techniques in presenting and/or creating dance works.

Some communication of choreographic intent to an audience through composition or performance.

Basic critique and evaluation of a dance presentation, performance, or choreographic piece.

Some analysis and synthesis of research findings to choreograph a dance work. 

E

Awareness of some basic knowledge and understanding of dance practices.

Awareness of some basic knowledge and understanding of appropriate language and terminology relevant to the dance context. 

Emerging application of dance skills using safe dance practices and techniques in presenting and/or creating dance works.

Attempted communication of an aspect of choreographic intent to an audience through composition or performance. 

Attempted critique and evaluation of a dance presentation, performance, or choreographic piece.

Attempted analysis and synthesis of research findings to choreograph a dance work. 


Stage 2 | Subject outline | Subject changes

Subject changes

Any changes to this subject will be recorded here.