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BA (Hons) Dance Performance

BA Dance Performance will offer an intensive dance training programme that focusses on contemporary techniques but that is supported by classes in classical ballet, contact improvisation, somatic practices and dance styles from wider cultural contexts.  With the emphasis on dance performance you will be developing both your technical and expressive skills through regular performance opportunities in the Dance Studio Theatre as well as outside venues.  Working with a range of experienced dance staff, visiting choreographers and dance practitioners the aim is to prepare you for a career within the dance profession.  There is the opportunity to undertake a work placement as well as develop your skills in communication and teaching of repertory and technical dance material to be delivered to gain valuable communication and dance teaching experience.

Course content

There will usually be two technical dance classes each day in order to for you to hone your technical dance practice. 

Choreography is an essential part of training to be a dancer and working to develop your own compositional voice through theatre based work as well as site specific and screen dance will be explored. 

Improvisation and somatic approaches will enable you to develop as individual performance approach. 

Having an understanding of the business and management, and necessary arts administration is essential for setting yourself up as a freelance dance artist, community dance practitioner, being self employed or gaining work in an established dance company.

Our facilities

Our facilities content

Over the past few years, we’ve redeveloped both of our campuses so that you have the best facilities available for your degree. We pride ourselves on the quality of the learning environment we can offer our students.

Our dance facilities include four superb dance studios, a fully-equipped 250-seat theatre and a 110-seat studio theatre.

In addition, there is a newly refurbished large gymnasium space together with two new sprung-floor spaces in the new academic building.

Our students will use the facilities within our dance technical team to enhance their understanding of scenography, sound and cameras, and the editing suites to support their choreography and creative practice situated in the Learning and Information Zone of the library.  

At the Bishop Otter campus there is an integrated approach to the provision of learning resources and support.  We offer a substantial collection of books, journals and other materials to help you further your research. A range of study areas for group and quiet study including Wi-Fi areas for laptop use are available, or you can use our open access PC and Mac areas.  We use an electronic learning environment with an expanding portfolio of online library resources from anywhere at any time.

The Learning Resource is the hub of the learning environment.  It has two upper floors of library resources, one for silent study and one for quiet study, both of which have recently been refurbished. On the ground floor, you’ll find the Support and Information Zone, Media Centre, Otter Gallery, Costa Coffee and a variety of IT resources.

The Bishop Otter LRC also offers:

  • 130 open access PC workstations
  • 45 Apple iMacs
  • Ample printing facilities
  • Netbooks available on loan
  • Professional editing suites
  • Media loans counter
  • Wi-Fi and plug points throughout

Where this can take you

This dance performance route is focussed on giving you the knowledge, skills and understanding to prepare you to enter the dance profession and audition as a performer/choreographer or independent dance artist. 

Whether you want to set up your own dance company or join an established company, having gained the range of experiences working with professional choreographers and expert tutors will enhance your employment opportunities.


Work placements

The dance department has strong links with a variety of dance companies and organisations and has for many year engaged succesffuly to place students in a work experience or placement.  These have included:

  • Hofesh Schechter
  • Akram Khan
  • Motionhouse
  • Loop Dance
  • Stop Gap
  • Jasmin Vardimon
  • Balletboyz
  • South East Dance
  • The Point
  • York Dance Project


Indicative modules

Year One

  • Dance Landscapes 
  • Performance Techniques 1
  • Performance Project 1
  • Choreography and Devising
  • Choreography and Performance
  • Movement Studies: Analysis and Awareness
  • Dance Techniques 1
  • Understanding Technique 1
  • Dance Technique A

Year Two

  • Themes, Trends and Discourse in Performance
  • Research Methodologies
  • Performance Techniques 2 
  • Somatic Practices
  • Repertory
  • Industry Placement
  • Composing Dances
  • Performance and Place
  • Site Dance
  • Improvisation and Performance
  • Scenography for Dancers
  • Preparing the Dance Artist for Work
  • Dance Techniques 2
  • Understanding Technique 2
  • Dance Technique

Year Three

  • Independent Study
  • Performance Techniques
  • The Conscious Dancer
  • Interdisciplinary Arts Project
  • Dance Production (3Fall Dance Company)
  • Applied Dance: community, production and administration
  • Choreographic Projects
  • Postmodern Practices
  • Immersive Choreographic Practices
  • Teaching Dance Technique
  • Dance Techniques 3
  • Understanding Dance Techniques 3
  • Dance Technique C 

Teaching and assessment

You’ll build your subject knowledge and practical experience through core and optional teaching modules appropriate to the breadth of the curriculum.

Your learning encompasses development of dance knowledge and skills intrinsic to dance practice.

Learning is supported by theoretical inquiry and debate, to provide you with the ability to contextualise your learning within academic frameworks.

Throughout your degree, modules are delivered in a variety of ways including:

Standard module: A single module scheduled over one semester (15 credits normally) examples Popular Dance and Introduction to Improvisation and Composition.

Double module: A double module is spread over two semesters (30 credits normally) examples: Dance Portfolio and Dance Placement.

Long thin module: A standard module can be spread over two semesters (15 credits normally) example: Dance Technique.

Summer module: Summer study, condensed into a two week period (15 credits normally) example: Interdisciplinary Arts Project and Performance and Place.

Module strand (Level 6): This is a double module, either 2 x 15 credits or 30 credits, designed to allow for in depth subject study. For example: Dance Movement Psychotherapy 1, Dance Movement Psychotherapy 2, Teaching Dance Technique, Teaching Dance and Creative Practice.

Theory modules allow you to begin to develop research skills necessary for degree study. Teaching is delivered through illustrated lectures and small group seminars, linking dance theory to practice. 

Daily practical classes enable you to engage in healthy, safe dance practice, through floor, ballet barre, centre work, traveling exercises and improvisational exercises, designed to develop technique skills needed for university dance study. 

Learning and teaching in dance technique allows you to develop movement memory through repetition of set sequences, timing and musicality, use of space, and experiential learning through improvisational techniques. To extend practice, you will be involved in the ongoing rehearsal and choreography of peers.

Additional Costs

Include Additional Costs: 

Additional Costs

Places still available


UCAS code: 
College Code: 

Course length

3 years
Full Time