The Dance department provides opportunities to experience various styles of Dance, create exciting performance work in lessons and clubs, and venture out of school for theatre trips and workshops. We hold two annual Dance shows: The Dance Showcase in term 4 and the Dance Jam in term 6 – these performances allow us to celebrate the range of fantastic work created by our talented students. Alongside our Dance performances we also stage a musical every other year – students in all years can audition for lead roles and the chorus is open to anyone who wants to take part. Previous productions include Les Miserable, We Will Rock You, Sweeney Todd and Return to the Forbidden Planet. We are currently producing Joseph and his Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat. We also offer CSLA – a leadership qualification open to Year 12 students who want to lead in Dance activities for younger children.
We have a wonderful Dance studio which is fully equipped with sprung floor, mirrored walls, air conditioning and music facilities. Most Dance lessons take place in the studio, with some year 7, 8 and 9 lessons being taken in our secondary hall space.
Mrs du Cros is Head of Dance at Chipping Norton School and has been working on performances and productions with our students for ten years. After graduating from Coventry University she trained at the Royal Academy of Dance and Specialises in Contemporary Dance and Choreograph. Mrs du Cros encourages all students to get involved with the many exciting experiences the Performing Arts team has on offer.
In Year 7, students will be given an introduction to Dance where they will learn key Performing Arts skills and create a dance from scratch at the start of the year. They will move on to create their own theme based work in Cartoon Creations, and will finish the year with a performance project based on Rock n Roll. Year 8 students further their knowledge of choreography and performance with units inspired by films and media. They will create work including marital arts style movement and contact work. Year 8 finish the year by creating their own Dance Adverts in groups. Year 9 students will develop their dance work in preparation for GCSE Dance – units look at professional work with more mature themes, Street Dance techniques and popular dance styles. Year 7, 8 and 9 students can join Dance Company and can take part in Street Dance Club as part of our extra curricular package.
At KS4 we run BTEC Level 2 Tech Award which is equivalent to one GCSE and is recognised by further education providers including our own sixth form. The Tech Award includes three components which cover choreography, technique and theoretical knowledge. In the first year students will study three professional works in various Dance styles – learning repertoire, undertaking creative tasks and creating a portfolio of their understanding. This is alongside regular technique classes in a Contemporary Dance style. In the second year students are set a choreography challenge which they will work on in groups, while continuing to develop their Dance technique. Tech Award students will perform group work in our two yearly Dance shows, take part in regular workshops with professionals and have the opportunity to attend trips to see live work and to explore Move It: The Dance Exhibition in London.
At KS5 we offer BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate which is equivalent to one A Level and is nationally recognised. The course involved four units which allow students to develop dance technique, choreography, performance an analysis skills. In the first year students will focus on developing technique for live performance, and will study professional works in detail. The second year gives students the chance to explore Street Dance techniques and focuses on group choreography. Level 3 BTEC students will perform group work in both of our annual Dance shows as well as having the opportunity to attend theatre trips and take apart in workshops with professionals working in the industry.