Unit 2: Set dance – practical examination, externally assessed (20%)

Candidates will demonstrate their physical competence and effectiveness as performers and their knowledge of safe working practice. 

Key principles (see Section 3, Subject Content): 

  • the physical, technical and mental skills necessary for effective performance 
  • the expressive skills necessary for effective performance  
  • understanding how to achieve high quality performance 
  • knowledge and understanding of health, fitness and safe working practice. 

Candidates will perform one of two solo dances that will be set for the duration of the specification. The dances are choreographed by professional dancers in styles from within the contemporary dance genre. 

With AQA approval, teachers may adapt either set dance to meet the specific needs of a particular candidate. AQA approval must be sought if teachers wish to adapt either set dance to meet the specific needs of a particular candidate. An application for approval must be made as early as possible in the year of examination. The procedure for submitting an application for approval is explained in the document Applying to Adapt the Set Dance in the Teacher Resource Bank.

The music tracks as published must not be altered in tempo, cut, edited or altered in any way except in exceptional circumstances to meet the needs of a specific candidate. In this case AQA approval must be sought before presenting the candidate's work for final assessment. 

Submission for the external assessment of all candidates must be on DVD or video. Requirements for recording the set dance are specified in the document Technical Instructions for Videoing Dances available on the Teacher Resource Bank. For this unit only, the teacher may operate the video camera. Work submitted for assessment should be of a single, unedited performance, filmed from an audience viewpoint. 

Criteria for assessment
  • technical ability: posture, alignment, co-ordination, balance, strength, flexibility, mobility and control 
  • accurate reproduction of action and spatial content, with reference to the choreography and the characteristic features of the particular chosen dance 
  • interpretation of dynamic and expressive qualities
  • demonstration of style: ability to emulate the style and mood of the original choreography 
  • safe practice as a performer: execution of movements, clothing, jewellery, hair, footwear, appropriateness of choice of same 
  • overall sense of performance: focus, projection, musicality, sensitivity, communication, energy, commitment. 

Centres will be sent notice of the allocated Unit 2 examiner in April of the year of examination. Candidate Record Forms for Unit 2 must accompany the DVD/video and be sent directly to the examiner using the pre-paid label provided. Centres should provide a running order and brief description of candidates on the DVD/video. A copy of the DVD/video MUST be retained in the centre.