GCSE Dance Practical!

Struggling on dance choreography?

I have currently just finished my GCSE dance practical exam and achieved an A* and i'm hoping that these revision cards and my personal experiences will help you through your preparation leading up to your exam, and the exam itself!

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  • Created by: Jazmin
  • Created on: 14-05-11 15:43

Preparation and Stimuli

Getting started is the hard part!

When preparing your choreography you need to take into account:

  • A stimulus
  • Styles of dance
  • Music
  • Is it a solo or grouped dance
  • Length of dance
  • Props

a stimulus for your dance is key, as this is what you centre your dance around, once you have this you can focus on creating movements, and different styles of dance will come naturally once you've started doing this. I struggled with creating a stimulus but thinking back its quite simple!

Try to think about whether your dance is a solo or grouped dance as early as possible, as changing your mind half way through leading up to your exam date doesnt help....TRUST ME! easy mistakes!

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I'm stuck?!

Don't fret yet!

Getting down to actually trying to think of a stimulus can be pretty tricky, but here are a few ideas that I considered when I had to think of one:

  • A picture of an image - patterns (e.g you could use different pathways or if the lines are sharp use sharp movements)
  • Colours - mood of your dance
  • Lyrics or words
  • A story ot themes (e.g. being trapped and trying to get out, someone being bullied, everyday activies, crimes ect)
  • A piece of music itself 

When choosing a piece of music, try to include as many dynamical features as possible. Try to pick a piece of music that contains either slow, fast, sharp or soft sections to gain your more marks in your exam.

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Ingredience of your dance


To gain marks in your dance you need to include actions such as:

  • Elevations (jumps) - e.g. hitch-kicks, leaps etc
  • Gestures - e.g. a hand gesture that could be repeted
  • Locomotion (how do you travel? which direction do you travel in?) - e.g. triplet, jogg, run, upstage, downstage
  • Stillness - e.g. a freeze, a sudden stop, pause
  • Rotation - e.g. spin, roll
  • Weight transferrence - e.g. transferring your weight from your right leg to your left leg
  • Extension and Contraction - e.g. curling into a ball and then extending your whole body out

Adding as many actions as you can could improve your score just that little bit extra. But don't forget, EVERY MARK COUNTS!

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Other Aspects for a dance

When performing or creating a dance, use space well! There's no point being stuck in one corner for the whole dance, that wont get you anywhere! Examiners like use of space.

Use levels in your dance - perform an action high in the air or on the floor

take into account how you move your body - is it...smooth, jerky, controlled, fast, slow? etc

If your in a group, have you considered relationship features?: formations, contact (pushing, lifts etc), canon, unison, accumilation, copying, counterpoint, contrast, mirror, lead and follow.

If you're using a prop, is it relevant and safe to use?

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Choreographic devices

Some people thinking dancing is just...well....DANCING. But you should take a good look at whats coming up if your wanting top notch marks!

Repetion - repeat some of your motifs, but not too much, it might turn your dance into a bore to watch and too predictable!

Contrast - if you have a slower section, why not experiment with a faster/sharper section?

Transitions - how do you move from one movement to another

Highlights - where you draw in the audiences attentions in specific moments of the dance which are both interesting and memorable

Beginning and end - well this is obvious, you want  a very good beginning and eng to capture the audience

Climax - the high point of where your dance leads to. could include a little surprise!

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absolute waste of time



good to know.

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