Subject specific vocabulary
Definitions of key terms used in our GCSE Dance specification (8236). Students should be familiar with and gain understanding of these terms.
An additional item of costume, for example gloves.
What a dancer does eg travelling, turning, elevation, gesture, stillness, use of body parts, floor-work and the transference of weight.
Speeding up the movement.
The sound that you hear during a dance. For example, percussion.
When a dancer performs a series of movements and others join in at different times until all perform in unison.
A design that is traced in the air by part of the body.
Correct placement of body parts in relation to each other.
Recognition and understanding of the qualities of dance.
The aim of a dance; what the choreographer aims to communicate.
Relating to sound.
An audible accompaniment to the dance such as music, words, song and natural sound (or silence).
A steady or held position achieved by an even distribution of weight.
A composition in two parts or sections.
When the same movements overlap in time.
The way in which a choreographer makes the dance.
Methods used to develop and vary material.
The aim of the dance; what the choreographer aims to communicate.
Activities involved in creating dance such as improvisation, selection and development.
The art of creating dance.
The most significant moment of the dance.
Perform actions or shapes that are similar to but not exactly the same as another dancer’s.
Characteristics of choreography such as style, stimulus, subject matter, number/gender of dancers, action content, choreographic principles, form and structure, physical and aural settings.
Movements or shapes that have nothing in common.
The ability to start and stop movement, change direction and hold a shape efficiently.
The efficient combination of body parts.
Clothing worn by dancers in performance.
When dancers perform different phrases simultaneously.
Evaluation of dance based upon knowledge and understanding, including original insights.
Where dance and film are both integral to a work; this includes documentary, animation, dance for camera and a screen adaption of a stage work.
Dance for camera
Where the choreographer collaborates with (or is) the film-maker; where the intention is to produce a dance work in a multi-media form that cannot be achieved in live performance.
What the dancer wears for class and rehearsal.
Slowing down the movement.
The way in which movement material is manipulated.
The facing of a movement.
The qualities of movement based upon variations in speed, strength and flow.
Elements of dance
Actions, space, dynamics and relationships.
The action of ‘going up’ without support, such as in a jump.
A performance space with the audience on one side; also known as ‘end-on’.
A choreography with several sections, linked by a theme.
Carrying out actions with the required intention.
Aspects that contribute to performance artistry and that engage the audience, such as focus and musicality.
Lengthening one or more muscles or limbs.
Use of the face to show mood, feeling or character.
Features of production
Lighting, set, properties, costume and aural setting.
The range of movement in the joints (involving muscles, tendons and ligaments).
Focus (use of)
Use of the eyes to enhance performance or interpretative qualities.
The overall shape and structure of a dance.
Shapes or patterns created in space by dancers.
Use of parts of a phrase or motif.
Important moments of a dance.
Relating to ideas or concepts.
Exploration or generation of movements without planning.
A performing area with the audience seated on all sides.
Aim or desired outcome.
Finding the meaning that is in the movement or finding the movement that is in the idea.
An independent movement of part of the body.
Sensory perception (or awareness) of movement and position.
Distance from the ground: low, medium or high.
The illumination of the performance area.
The flow of phrases or sections of a dance.
Manipulation of number
How the number of dancers in a group is used.
Thinking through or visualising the dance.
These include commitment, concentration, confidence, movement memory, systematic repetition, mental rehearsal, rehearsal discipline, planning of rehearsal, response to feedback and capacity to improve.
The range of movement in a joint; the ability to move fluently from action to action.
A movement phrase encapsulating an idea that is repeated and developed throughout the dance.
Ways in which a movement phrase can be varied.
The matter of dance: actions, space, dynamics and relationships.
The automatic recall of learned movement material, without conscious thought.
The ability to make the unique qualities of the accompaniment evident in performance.
Dance that tells a story.
Designs traced in space (on the floor or in the air).
A repeated design traced in space (on the floor or in the air).
The presentation of dance to an audience.
Acquisition and development of physical and expressive skills.
Different settings for dance such as in-the-round, proscenium and site-sensitive.
A short sequence of linked movements.
The way in which the energy is distributed in the execution of a movement phrase.
Aspects enabling effective performance such as posture, alignment, balance, coordination, control, flexibility, mobility, strength, stamina, extension and isolation.
The way the body is held.
Original choreography by an individual or company that is recognised nationally or internationally.
The energy the dancer uses to connect with and draw in the audience.
A portable object that is used in a dance, for example a suitcase.
The arch or opening that creates the effect of a picture frame and separates the stage from the auditorium.
Attributes and skills required for refining performance such as commitment, systematic repetition, teamwork, responsibility and effective use of time.
The ways in which dancers interact; the connections between dancers.
Performing the same action or phrase again.
Reversing a movement phrase.
Repeated patterns of sound or movement.
A music or dance form with alternating and repeating sections eg verse and chorus.
Carrying out actions safely.
Safe working practice
Personal care, respect for others, safe execution and preparation and recovery from dancing.
Sensitivity to other dancers
Awareness of and connection to other dancers.
Dances that are designed for (or relate to) non-theatre spaces.
The ‘where’ of movement such as levels, directions, pathways, shapes, designs and patterns.
Consciousness of the surrounding space and its effective use.
The way that elements of space have been considered, utilised and designed (can be personal space and general space).
The presentation of dance in the performing space including set, furniture, props, projection and backdrop.
Ability to maintain physical and mental energy over periods of time.
Inspiration for an idea or movement.
The way in which material is organised to create the whole.
The ways in which a dance is made, built, ordered or organised.
Characteristic way of dancing.
The combination of features of two or more styles.
Repeating something in an arranged or ordered way.
Relating to the sense of touch.
These include accuracy of action, timing, dynamic, rhythmic and spatial content and the reproduction of movement in a stylistically accurate way.
A composition in three parts.
The use of time or counts when matching movements to sound and/or other dancers.
Links between dance phrases or sections.
Two or more dancers performing the same movement at the same time.
A sense of ‘wholeness’ or harmony.
Relating to sight.