Unit 3: Performance in a duo/group dance – controlled assessment (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. 
Task setting

The task is designed by centre teaching staff according to the criteria set by AQA, as described below. The task is open-ended, allowing candidates to answer the task in a variety of ways, depending on the resources available. 

Candidates will perform in a group dance that relates to a professional work from the prescribed list (see section 3.1).

The group size must be between 2, 3, 4 or 5 dancers. 

The performance must last between 3 and 3½ minutes, with each candidate dancing for a minimum of 2 minutes. 

Three clear links with the chosen professional work must be demonstrated, for instance: 

  • choreographic style
  • dance style 
  • subject matter 
  • accompaniment 
  • recognisable action content or motifs 
  • characterisation 
  • similar costume, props, staging or setting. 

Where dance style is not chosen as a link, the performance may be in any style, for example tap, ballet, jazz, streetdance, contact improvisation, contemporary, folk.

The performance should be choreographed by a teacher/dance artist in collaboration with the candidates. Controlled Assessment Advisors will be available to provide guidance to centres.

The choreographic intent of the piece must be made explicit and indicated on the Candidate Record Form.

Task taking

The recommended time for candidates to prepare their performance of the specific dance for this unit is 15 hours. During this time, candidates should be informally supervised. Candidates with a disability which means they cannot learn the movements in 15 hours may be given extra preparation time as appropriate. 

During these rehearsals, candidates may receive feedback from the teacher and peers in the form of guidance and advice as to how they might improve their performance skills.

Task marking 

Assessments should be live wherever possible. Assessments take place during moderation and are continued after moderation if numbers require it. The assessments must be video-recorded and the recording should not be made by the teacher who is making the assessments. 

Refer to Section 7.1: Moderation Procedures for more information. 

Criteria for assessment: 
  • technical ability: posture, alignment, co-ordination, balance, strength, flexibility, mobility and control
  • accuracy of action, dynamic and spatial content within the context of the group  
  • communication of choreographic intent: empathy with the mood or meaning of the dance and ability to interpret and communicate this 
  • sensitivity to other dancers in a range of dance relationships: in time and space and in group formations and dance relationships
  • safe practice as a performer within a group context: execution of movements, clothing, jewellery, hair, footwear, appropriateness of choice of same 
  • overall sense of performance within a group context: focus, projection, musicality, sensitivity, communication, energy, commitment.
Assessment grid for Performance in a Duo/Group Dance
30 marks Performance in a Duo/Group Dance Mark
technical ability underpinning the performance (AO2)
posture, alignment, co-ordination, balance, strength, flexibility, core stability, control excellent technical ability 5
good technical ability 4
sustained evidence of technical ability 3
some attempt to evidence technical ability 2
very limited technical ability 1
no evidence of technical ability 0
accuracy of action, dynamic (inc timing) and spatial content (AO2)
in relation to the demands of the choreography of the piece entirely accurate execution of action, dynamic and spatial requirements 5
mostly accurate execution of all three 4
mostly accurate execution of two of the three 3
some accuracy of one of the three 2
limited accuracy of action, dynamic and spatial content 1
inaccurate action, dynamic and spatial content throughout 0
communication of choreographic intent (AO2)
empathy with the mood, meaning and/ or style sensitive interpretation of the mood, meaning and style of the dance communicated throughout 5
good interpretation of mood, meaning and style communicated throughout 4
some interpretation of mood, meaning and style communicated throughout the piece 3
interpretation of mood, meaning and style sometimes communicated but not sustained throughout 2
limited communication of mood, meaning and style 1
no communication of mood, meaning and style 0
sensitivity to other dancers in a range of dance relationships (AO3)
in time and space and in group formations and dance relationships highly sensitive to other dancers throughout 5
relates to other dancers with sensitivity but not sustained throughout 4
relates to other dancers 3
some attempt to relate to other dancers but not sustained throughout the piece 2
limited awareness of other dancers 1
  0
safe practice as a performer (AO2) no awareness of other dancers
a) choice of appropriate attire, hairstyle, jewellery, footwear, etc, demonstrating safe practice (up to 3 marks) b) safe execution of several specific challenging movements (up to 2 marks) all aspects of safe practice evidenced and applied appropriately 5
most aspects of safe practice evidenced and applied appropriately 4
some aspects of safe practice evidenced and applied appropriately 3
some aspects of safe practice evidenced but choices not entirely appropriate 2
limited evidence of safe practice and inappropriate choices made 1
no understanding of safe dance practice evidenced 0
overall sense of performance (AO3)
focus, projection, musicality, energy, commitment completely engaging and communicates sense of performance energy 5
a committed performance throughout 4
some sense of performance and commitment throughout 3
an attempt to commit to the performance but not sustained throughout 2
a limited performance 1
no evidence of performance skill 0

 Each of the six criteria are marked out of a maximum of five and totalled to give a mark out of 30